Sleeping too much, too little or with interruptions increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease among Latinos in the United States, according to a study published Wednesday by the University of Miami (UM). That followed for seven years more than 5,000 of these patients in this city and in Chicago. New York and San Diego.
The neurologist Alberto R. Ramos
Lead author of the research, explained to Efe that these sleep disorders can increase dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in this community, than in itself.
Ramos also said that an increase in incidence is expected as the Latino population grows and ages, with the «economic» impact that means and, therefore, the need to study their relationship with sleep disorders.
In that sense, the study found that insomnia and prolonged sleep duration seem to be related to a decrease in neurocognitive functioning. That may precede the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
Ramos and his team at the UM Miller School of Medicine followed 5,247 participants aged 45 to 75, chosen from a representative sample of the Hispanic population in the United States of 16,000.
They underwent a neurocognitive test at the beginning of the investigation and repeated the test seven years later.
The specialists pointed out that prolonged periods of sleep and chronic insomnia symptoms led to a decrease in memory, consistency and speed of mental processing.
These circumstances «may precede the development of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease,» Ramos said.
The epidemiological study also included the observation of sleep apnea (interruptions in breathing or shallow breathing when sleeping), which has been linked to impaired cognition.
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In that sense, Ramos urged Hispanics to «consider sleep in the same way as physical activity and good nutrition as one of the pillars of having a full and healthy life in the long term.»
«You should start thinking about sleeping in a different way, they think it is not necessary to get enough sleep and strive to try to sleep,» he said.
He recalled that a «good dream» is 7 to 8 hours continuous, at appropriate hours and conditions, that is, at night, with a relatively low temperature, with little sound, and try to avoid using electronic equipment for at least an hour before sleeping, which recognizes that it is «very difficult, but recommended».
The idea, he said, is a dream that «guarantees well-being during the day, that is, there is concentration and no irritation, for example.
The research, entitled «Sleep and neurocognitive impairment in the Hispanic community health study / Latino study», did not cover the possible social factors of sleep disorders.
But Ramos said other research shows that «stress» due to immigration status. Discrimination and the acculturation challenge among Hispanics in the country increases certain sleep symptoms. Such as «more tiredness, more fragmented sleep or less quantity.»