Poor REM Sleep Ups the Risk of Dementia

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Poor sleep habits disturb normal body functioning and are often tied to the dementia risk. Lack of sleep is a grave issue faced by many people globally and every one in three Americans has become the victim of this issue. REM means Rapid Eye Movement and the individual who take a longer time to enter into this phase as well as those who spend less time in this sleeping phase are at the risk of dementia.

About 45% of the global population is facing sleep-related issues which are alarming. Hence US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said poor sleep habits have now become a public issue. REM is characterized by prompt and random eye movement, reduced muscle tone, and intense dreams.

Along with dementia, other disorders like stroke, diabetes, heart disorders also increased due to lack of sleep. Alzheimer’s disease which is the common form of dementia is characterized by insomnia, sleeplessness, memory decline which can reduce the efficiency of an individual. The study which states the link between dementia and Poor REM Sleep has been published in the journal Neurology.

During the study, the researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (MED) analyzed 321 individuals on the basis of their sleep habits for a span of three years. It was seen that after 12 years of consecutive follow-up, 32 individuals from this study have developed some form of dementia.

During 3 years study, these participants had spent 17% of their time in REM sleep and the individuals who did not suffer from dementia had spent more time in REM sleep. Hence REM factor is one of the indicators which can determine the risk of dementia. Apart from dementia, the risk of weight gain also increases due to poor sleep.

Hence healthy lifestyle habits and proper sleep are key to well-being. To avoid the risk of dementia at a later stage of life adequate amount of sleep is necessary. However, this study does not indicate poor REM causes dementia but it shows the association between the two.