A lot of interest and excitement has been generated by reference to a very technical paper about the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease: We learn that good sleep patterns allow clearance of amyloid from the brain – reducing the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease: Study finds link between Alzheimer’s and circadian clock | Alzheimer's | The Guardian
So technical – and based on findings in mice that Rose Gollop, and maybe others, is disappointed and may not accept the message that a good sleep pattern is associated with less incidence of Alzheimer’s disease: Counting mice after sleep study letdown | Sleep | The Guardian
The paper is really exciting – I am amazed – because it claims to have demonstrated the mechanism by which sleep cleanses the brain of chemicals which are associated with the development of Alzheimer pathology. This and the notion of a circadian rhythm in the activity of microglia cells is new to me – and the argument persuasive.
But the understanding that sleep is good for you was known to my mother and many other mothers for centuries and has been confirmed by a number of studies, including some which focus on the relationship between sleep patterns and the emergence of dementia. At least six hours a night of sleep protects against dementia – Less than five hours a night and you put yourself at increased risk.
Always wise to take note of what mother taught us. We need to apply the wisdom throughout life.