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In part one of this two-part series, a recent article by Raj Sandou, “Sleep Deprivation Increases Alzheimer’s Protein,” in Assisted Living Newsletter with a reference to the National Institute of Health, discussed how the relationship between poor sleep hygiene and poor mental health care are strongly interrelated.

A 2018 research study showed that sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of the reasons for poor sleep in older adults are feeling sick, being in pain and medication side effects. The following are some ideas to consider when trying to promote good sleep hygiene:

  • Address any signs or symptoms of illness, discomfort, pain, etc.
  • Monitor medications for side effects
  • Ensure adequate exposure to natural light during daytime
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine close to bedtime
  • Establish a regular, relaxing, bedtime routine
  • Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant

Alzheimer’s facts (from Alzheimer’s Association)

  • An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018
  • One in 10 age 65 are older has Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
  • Older African-American are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites
  • Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites
  • Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. By mid-century, someone in th
  • e United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds

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Day Egusquiza is the president and founder of the Patient Financial Navigator Foundation Inc. — an Idaho-based family foundation. For more information, go to pfnfinc.com.

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