Are Naps A Sign of Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Getting midday shut-eye is often viewed as a luxurious retirement activity.

However, a recent study found that older adults who nap more during the day are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s. Those who develop this type of dementia also tend to sleep more during the day.

The study released by the Alzheimer’s Association found that older adults who napped every day were 40 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. People later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s tended to continue napping as the condition progressed. Sometimes an average of over 11 minutes per year.

Daytime sleepiness in an older adult can raise some red flags. Continue reading to learn more about:

  • Napping and dementia
  • How to help people with Alzheimer’s get better sleep
  • Resources for memory care in Edmond, OK
Jasmine Estates of Edmond | Senior woman sleeping peacefully

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Daytime Napping and Dementia

We all know that napping can be a great way to recharge our batteries, but it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over six million Americans live with the disease. That number is expected to double by 2050.

So what is the link between napping and dementia? The researchers believe people with Alzheimer’s tend to sleep more during the day due to disruptive sleep during the night.

Excessive daytime napping can be a symptom of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a loss of brain cells due to a build-up of beta-amyloid proteins. This toxic protein is usually removed during normal sleep patterns.

The study also found that older adults who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night were at a higher risk for developing mild cognitive impairment. When a person doesn’t get enough rest, the brain cannot repair itself.

A 2019 study discovered wake-promoting neurons in people with Alzheimer’s. One of the first sections of the brain to be affected by this type of dementia is the region associated with alertness.

An article from MedicalNewsToday put it this way:

Early loss of these neurons in Alzheimer’s disease affects individuals’ capacity to stay 100% alert and awake, regardless if they slept well the night before.

Napping is not the cause of dementia but can be an early indicator.

What are ways to help people with Alzheimer’s sleep?

People with Alzheimer’s often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Types of dementia such as Lewy body often cause night terrors and an inability to attain REM sleep cycles.

The best way to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s stay asleep is by:

  • Establishing a bedtime routine that rids the bedroom of noises and lights, including electronics.
  • Using the time before bed to offer calming activities like soothing music.
  • Keeping your loved one active and engaged throughout the day. Exercise routines or brain-enhancing games can keep people more alert.
  • Trying to keep loved ones awake during the day with redirection tactics like snacks or a short walk.
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol use.

If you are a family member providing care to someone living with a type of dementia, you may want to consider additional help. Senior living communities that offer memory care can alleviate your burdens.

Memory Care: Edmond, OK Options

Just north of Oklahoma City, Jasmine Estates of Edmond offers Alzheimer’s and dementia care to help provide purposeful support to older adults. Our specialized services also help family caregivers get much-needed rest.

Memory care in our community gives loved ones the comforts of home and the benefit of personalized care. Our memory care residents find enjoyment and meaning in daily activities and new relationships.

We offer a variety of floor plans to give your loved one a secure atmosphere to get a good night’s sleep. Daily activities ensure they receive socialization, recreation, and relaxation.

Residents enjoy living independently at a pace that is right for them. Our dementia care experts offer support with:

  • Individualized care plans
  • Activities of daily living assistance
  • Personal care and hygiene
  • Medication management and administration
  • 24/7 emergency response

In addition to care and support, residents get to live in a resort-style atmosphere:

  • Daily meals in the dining room
  • Multiple secure courtyards
  • Soothing and easy-to-navigate common areas
  • Activities and special events
  • Transportation, housekeeping, and laundry services

Visit Memory Care in Edmond, Oklahoma

Contact us to arrange a tour of how you and your loved one can experience better sleep. We can’t wait to show you relief.