The connection between good sleep and memory function
For some, recovering from poor sleep is bearable with the right amount of caffeine the next morning. Individuals who prefer a minimum of eight hours of meaningful and sustained sleep per night might beg to differ, but they too can overcome an occasional bad night of rest.
However, it begs the question: what can a lifestyle anchored by good sleep do for the long-term health of the mind?
Several prestigious California universities set out to answer this through a study that measures memory function and performance based on the amount of deep sleep. The study’s participants are older, healthy individuals who show no signs of mental decline.
Your own experience has likely demonstrated time and again that good sleep is a mood enhancer and sets the tone for the day ahead. Restorative sleep is also linked to enhanced concentration and a stronger immune system. To some extent, how people feel each day is controllable depending on how many hours of shuteye they enjoyed.
The promising news in this study is that quality sleep can be a critical link in dementia prevention. The research highlights the significance of people’s intent to strive for a good night’s rest every day because of the long-term benefits, including reducing risk factors for developing cognitive decline.
While it might not always be possible to get perfect rest, the efforts of doing so can pay off more than one way as the effects of undisturbed sleep are not limited to the rejuvenation of the body. Science tells us that restfulness and a healthier mind are complementary.
Here is how.
While your body is catching up on sleep, the brain is hard at work cleansing out toxins. Beta-amyloid, a known protein associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, can build up in the body if left unregulated. Quality sleep helps maintain the body’s cleansing process, shutting out harmful toxins, some of which are linked to memory lapses and other cognitive complications. Beta-amyloid levels are a common marker of Alzheimer’s disease. Along with another protein, tau, beta-amyloid clogs up passageways at the cellular level. Decades of brain cells clashing can pass before the body expresses any symptoms.
The findings back previous research as well. Another study demonstrated a link between sleep apnea and cognitive decline. The study acknowledges that the connection is not fully developed, and it will take time to untangle the causes and biological mechanisms of poor sleep and cognitive decline and their interrelationships.
Because poor sleep is also a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, a clear delineation between poor sleep as a symptom and cause of cognitive decline is not always apparent, underscoring the importance of rigorous research and the need for a holistic and technology-forward approach to all facets of dementia care.
A loving, approach to dementia care in Los Angeles
Celebrating more than 130 years of compassionate care, Hollenbeck Palms offers an environment that allows residents to lead purposeful lives within a vibrant community.
Always at the forefront of cutting-edge research and techniques in memory care, Hollenbeck Palms offers enhanced Los Angeles assisted living and the Hensel Memory Enhancement Center.
Hollenbeck Palms’ Hensel Memory Enhancement Center is one of our residency options that provides professional, compassionate, engaging and safe support for residents living with advanced dementia symptoms.
The free-standing center is two floors, including private and shared suites, an open dining
room, an activity area, a secured garden and other amenities. Staff are trained through an innovative memory enhancement program that focuses on compassion and Dementia Awareness in all aspects of care. Residents and staff get to know each other as a way to understand unique qualities and abilities and to create customized experiences and care.
The Hensel Memory Enhancement Center incorporates fitness, mental stimulation and creative expression through a variety of programs. Through a range of services and facilities aimed at fostering personalized involvement, the Hensel Memory Enhancement Center program is designed to improve every resident’s cognitive, physical, spiritual and psychological well-being.