Yourwellness Magazine Explores Ways to Ease Sleep in Dementia Patients

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With a new study finding a correlation between sleep apnoea and Alzheimer’s disease, Yourwellness Magazine explored ways to help dementia sufferers get a good night’s sleep.

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According to a new study, presented this month at an American Thoracic Society conference in Philadelphia, sleep apnoea may somehow cause – or be caused by – Alzheimer's disease. Scientists found that slimmer seniors with signs of disrupted breathing during sleep were more likely to have indicators of developing Alzheimer's disease. This is based on testing the sleep of 68 seniors in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Their average age was 71.

Study lead author Dr. Ricardo Osorio, a research assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine, in New York City, commented, "This is just a correlation," but "It's clear that sleep is important for memory, and sleep changes as you get older. Disrupted breathing during sleep also increases with ageing." Thinner participants with breathing problems during sleep were more likely to have "biomarkers" of an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer's. Osorio noted, "We do not know if these people will develop Alzheimer's in the future, and we don't know how much risk they have."(

With this in mind, Yourwellness Magazine explored ways to ease sleep in dementia sufferers. According to Yourwellness Magazine, “For those who suffer dementia, there are a great many health concerns and issues that may arise, often one of the most difficult to deal with are issues getting to sleep. For the patients themselves, this can be unpleasant but it can often be worse for carers who’re working full-time looking after the patient anyway.”

Yourwellness Magazine outlined five steps which could well help sufferers of dementia get to sleep:
1. Routine. For sufferers of dementia, knowing when’s usually bed time can prepare their brains for sleep making it much less of a hassle.
2. Make the time obvious. Have clocks in every room and by keep blinds or curtains open.
3. Reduce stimulants. No caffeine or sugar in the evening.
4. Reduce naps. Napping less during the day will mean that patients are sleepier at night.
5. Make the bedroom a happy place. Fill it with soothing colours and soft things and remove anything which might cause loud noises or distract them from sleep.

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Michael Kitt
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