Researchers have realised that they may be able to detect dementia and Parkinson’s much earlier than they previously thought. The first signs are apparently already showing up 15 years earlier… when we are asleep!
Dementia and Parkinson’s are usually diagnosed too late and then can only be poorly treated. That is why there is so much research going on into these diseases.
Restless sleep can be a devastating sign
According to PAP, researchers from Canada have been carrying out studies, that have not been published, but which could drastically improve our understanding of these two diseases. Their results established that there is a connection between the quality of sleep and the risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
Their results showed that anyone who moves a lot during the REM phase of their sleep cycle, i.e. the dream phase, and has the urge to roll about, has an increased risk of suffering from dementia or Parkinson’s up to 15 years later. Apparently, the risk increases by an incredible 80 to 100%.
Healthy sleep is extremely important
Researchers at Boston University have also discovered a connection between the quality of sleep during REM sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The REM phase is the period during which your heart rate is increased and your eyes flutter under your lids - the phase when you are dreaming.
US researchers found out that a shortened dream phase is linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later on in life. Yet more proof of just how important it is to sleep well!