I recently came across as somewhat alarming study. This study published in the Journal Neurology, shows that when our sleep is interrupted there's an increase in brain proteins that can cause Alzheimer's disease.
Sleep allows the body to clear away compounds called Amyloid and Tau. Amyloid compounds are released by brain cells all the time when they fired their synapses.
Not having deep sleep causes a buildup of these compounds. This study gives light to what can cause dementia. It doesn't necessarily show that poor sleep causes Alzheimer's but there is a brain connection when we have sleep loss. This was a study from Washington University and studied the most important phase of sleep.
The researchers allowed people to sleep a normal amount of time but prevented them from getting deep sleep or slow wave sleep. The researchers interrupted the slow wave sleep part and they found that this increased the amyloid compound. In the mornings the volunteers in the study had your spinal fluid analyzed. "When people had their slow wave sleep disrupted, their annual Amyloid levels increased by about 10% said Dr. YO-El ju, the lead researcher. The study found that over a number of nights of interrupted sleep when this happened, the TAU compound levels had also risen.
Amyloid is naturally produced in the brain and when we are in a deep sleep the brain clears away these compounds. However, if you can't get into a deep sleep, over anumber of years this can build up plaques which can lead to dementia and diseases like Alzheimer's.
As many times before, I have said the importance of sleep and Why it's necessary for optimal health. This study shows that deep sleep is important for brain function as well.
Source: Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults