People with Alzheimer’s struggle with sleep but it is unclear if poor sleep quality is contributing to the disease. Learning more about the treatment and prevention is key. A new study shows that people who were prevented from achieving the deepest level of sleep have a build up of Alzheimer’s associated proteins. The study led by neurologist David Holtzman from the Washington University School of Medicine, included 17 volunteers who were all between the ages of 35 to 65. The volunteers all had their sleep tracked at home and in the lab.The volunteers were all prevented from going into the deepest stages of sleep by wearing headphones and occasional beeps sent through by researches. It was enough to disturb them, but not fully awaken them. The study showed people who slept poorly had higher levels of toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s. The study confirms previous findings linking Alzheimer’s to poor sleeping quality. Researches believe sleeping cleans out the brain and flushes toxic proteins. It is still unclear if Alzheimer’s causes poor sleep or if poor sleep contributes to the disease. Researches are hoping their study will give a better insight into the pathology of Alzheimer’s, improving the prevention and treatment of the Alzheimer’s.

Key Points:

  • 1Even a healthy person can show traces of the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease after only one night of restless sleep.
  • 2The brain needs quality sleep time in order to recooperate from the daily toils and stress of life and help prevent disease.
  • 3Further study is needed to know whether poor sleep contributes to Alzheimer’s disease or if restless sleep is a caused by the disease but at least researchers know there is a link to follow.


A new study published in Brain, has found that otherwise healthy adults showed a buildup of Alzheimer’s associated proteins in their cerebral spinal fluid when they were prevented from achieving the deepest stage of sleep.

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