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Dementia: Napping too many could be a symptom

Dementia: Napping too many could be a symptom

According to a recent study, making gods frequent naps or on a regular basis for an extended time during the day, it could be a sign of dementia early in the elderly. The study was recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Excessive napping can be a sign of dementia

This research states that among seniors accustomed to taking a nap at least once a day, or for more than an hour a day, there was a 40% increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. This compared to those who did not allow themselves a daytime nap at all or who used to take a nap lasting less than an hour.

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Senior co-author Dr. Yue Leng, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, explained that this correlation between excessive daytime naps and dementia it remained unchanged even after having adequate night sleep in terms of quantity and quality.

This research also confirms the results of an earlier study by Leng, according to which i naps of excessive duration, around 2 hoursincreased the risk of cognitive impairment, compared with a nap lasting less than 30 minutes.

14 years of data on the day rest of 1400 people

To conduct this new research, Leng and his colleagues used 14 years of data collected by the Rush Memory and Aging Project, which followed over 1,400 people aged between 74 and 88with an average age of 81.

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We know that as we get older we end up sleeping fewer hours at night, for a variety of different reasons. This often leads older people to make gods more frequent naps during the day. But daytime naps can also be a sign of brain changes that are “independent of night sleep,” as Leng said.

For 14 days a year, participants in the ongoing study have wore a tracker that recorded data on their movements. The absence of movement for an extended period between 9:00 and 19:00 was interpreted as a nap. It is also possible that i periods of inactivity corresponded to activities such as reading or watching TV, but as Leng explains, “we have developed a unique algorithm to define naps and differentiate naps from simple inactivity. We didn’t define a specific duration for the “extended nap”, but we were more focused on the accumulated minutes of sleep per day and the variation in the length of naps over the years. “

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Over the 14 years, the study found that daily daytime naps increased on average by 11 minutes a day every year, for adults who have not developed cognitive impairment. While for those who received a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, the team had reported an increase in nap duration by well 24 minutes a day. For the people he’s been to diagnosed with Alzheimer’s instead, the increase in nap duration averaged well 68 minutes a day.

The duration of the afternoon naps is to be considered as a symptom of dementia

According to Leng therefore, the “drastic increase” in the duration and frequency of naps over the years it seems to be a particularly important signal of cognitive degeneration.

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But as Leng himself puts it, at the moment “I don’t think we have enough evidence to draw conclusions about a causal relationship and say that it is the nap itself that caused cognitive aging. But an excessive daytime nap could be a sign of accelerated aging or a process of cognitive aging “.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay