Getting enough sleep is important in keeping us healthy and refreshed for the day’s activities. A good night’s sleep recharges the body and eliminates harmful toxins that build up as a result of metabolic activities. You, therefore, wake up feeling fresh and full of energy to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. Good sleep has also been linked with keeping dementia at bay with research finding those with poor sleeping patterns at a greater risk of the disease. Those with poor sleep patterns are less likely to spend enough time in the dreaming stage that is important in keeping dementia at bay. This dreaming stage boosts connections and interactions in the brain and this keeps it in the best possible condition. You are, therefore, less likely to suffer dementia and this ensures that your brain is functioning properly for a very long time.
The different stages of sleep.
When you sleep, you traverse 5 stages of sleep from the minute you get to bed to the moment you wake up. The first stage is the light sleep stage. In this stage, your body is getting ready to sleep and you are just about to drift into slumber. The next phase is the pre-deep sleep stage in which your brain’s activities take a rhythmic pattern. The temperature of your body drops and your heart rate becomes low. Your body then drifts to the third stage of sleep. It is at this stage that you transitionsto deep sleep. The fourth stage is the delta sleep stage and you are deep asleep at this stage. The last stage of sleep is the Rapid Eye Movement (REP) stage. This stage is characterized by rapid eye movements hence its name. It is at this stage that most dreaming happens and people should strive to spend as much time as possible at this stage to keep dementia at bay.
The REP Stage of sleep.
REP sleep is responsible for learning and storing memories in the form of dreams. On average, the REP stage should make up at least 25 percent of your entire sleep and anything less than this puts you at risk of dementia. Certain factors such as stress and illnesses may contribute to making you restless as you sleep. It is, therefore, important to make sure that you are free of these factors so as to improve the quality of your sleep. Quality sleep ensures that you are able to enter the REP stage as much as possible, thereby helping you keep dementia at bay.
The effects of lack of enough REP.
Chronic lack of REP sleep has a lot of harmful consequences other than dementia. Less REM sleep has an effect on the production of a protein by the name beta-amyloid that is linked to Alzheimer. Lack of enough sleep leads to an increase in the levels of this protein in the brain and this makes it difficult to sleep and this greatly contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.Apart from increasing the chances of suffering Alzheimer’s disease, the sufferer is at a greater risk of dementia as well.
Lack of enough REP sleep has also been linked to chronic migraines. It is in the REP stage that the body relaxes and eliminates harmful toxins in the brain. An accumulation of toxins in the brain causes constant headaches that develop into chronic migraines with time.
Not getting enough REP sleep has also been associated with trouble remembering stuff that one learned just before going to sleep.
Improving the quality of sleep.
The above-mentioned factors make improving the quality of sleep very important so as to increase the amount of time one spends in the dreaming stage. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure that you sleep when it is dark. Doing so increases the production of melatonin, a chemical compound that regulates REP sleep. You should also reduce your intake of caffeine since it has the effect of keeping you awake.
Dementia makes it difficult for an individual to function properly and individuals with this disease should be given proper care and attention. Find a care home in London to help you with this if you have a busy schedule.