Home Health Increased dementia risk for people who sleep during the daytime – and...

Increased dementia risk for people who sleep during the daytime – and other issues


A leading sleep expert says that sleeping during the day could be linked to an increased risk of dementia and other health conditions. 

Dr Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist from India, has highlighted concerns based on research indicating that those who work night shifts face a greater threat of developing neurodegenerative conditions.

Writing on X, he said: “Daytime sleep is lighter, since it is not aligned with the circadian clock, and hence fails to fulfill the homeostatic function of sleep.”

“This fact is supported by numerous studies of night shift workers, who as a group are predisposed to stress, obesity,cognitive deficits, and an elevated risk of neurodegenerative diseases.”

Dr Kumar said health concerns are partiuclarly evident in night shift workers who are more prone to stress, obesity, cognitive deficits and a heightened risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

He explained the workings of the glymphatic system, which plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health by removing protein waste.

The doctor warned that if this system doesn’t function properly, there’s a buildup of harmful proteins that can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, reports the Irish Star.

“Factors that suppress or result in failure of glymphatic system increase the risk of dementia. These include: aging, poor sleep quality, sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, sleep apnea, circadian misalignment, substance abuse, depression,” Dr Kumar said.

“Good sleepers live longer, weigh less, have a reduced incidence of psychiatric disorders, and remain cognitively intact longer.”

He concluded: “Habitually sleeping well at nights could result in better cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia and psychiatric disorders.”

According to the National Institute of Health, people who sleep six hours or less per night in their 50s and 60s are more likely to develop dementia later in life.

A 2023 study showed that even a one percent reduction in deep sleep each year for people over 60 years of age can lead to a 27 percent increased risk of developing dementia.

“Studies have suggested that sleep patterns earlier in life may contribute to later dementia risk,” the NIH says on its website.

“Both insufficient sleep and sleeping longer than average have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing dementia.”

“However, it has been hard to determine whether these sleep changes contribute to the disease or simply reflect early symptoms.”

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