top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr. Romi Fung, ND

The Importance of Sleep in Alzheimer's

SLEEP // Much evidence is now shining that there are certain functions that happen during sleep that is important in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's Disease. ⁣

This system in the brain, called the glymphatic system, drains waste from the brain. These glymphatic vessels dilate as we sleep to effectively allow toxic proteins including beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid accumulation is known to be correlated to Alzheimer's Disease. One study shows that Beta-amyloid can accumulate even after one night of sleep deprivation! ⁣

Proper sleep doesn't just happen overnight. This is a natural physiological function that involves proper planning and preparation for the body. And especially in the older population, this issue of sleep can become more challenging. ⁣

Here are some strategies to consider: ⁣

► Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Having a regular bed time and waking time can set the circadian rhythm of the body. ⁣

► No caffeine past noon. Caffeine has a half-life of approximately 5-6 hours, so by nighttime, you'd want most of that out your systems. ⁣

► Refrain from using alcohol to fall asleep. Alcohol can help you fall asleep but can prevent you from going into the deeper stages of REM that we need for repair. ⁣

► Avoid blue light during night hours as they have wavelengths that can trick your brain to think it is still daylight. Use f.lux on your computers or other red light applications. You can also invest in blue blocking glasses. Avoid having the TV in your room too. ⁣

► Keep the room cool and dark. Any small bit of light (and even on your skin as some evidence suggests!) can interfere with melatonin production. ⁣

► Do not eat 3-4 hours prior to bed, so the blood won’t go all the way to the gut while you’re in deep sleep that is needed for proper glymphatic flow. (More on this in a future post!) ⁣

If you're finding yourself to be unable to sleep after several interventions, consider a Naturopathic Doctor. We go through your history and your medications and supplements, and get to the root cause. There are many sources that can affect sleep which needs to be investigated. ⁣

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page