Pretty Vectors/ShutterstockIn America, not getting enough sleep isn’t just an issue plaguing a select segment of the population. As of 2013, 40 percent of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night, as opposed to 11 percent of the population in 1942.
The negative side effects of not getting enough sleep are well documented, but as it turns out, it isn’t just the duration of your snooze affecting your health. A recent study has shown a link between waking up during the middle of the night and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
The University of Illinois conducted a sleep study of 516 adults aged 71-78. The study found that the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, known as biomarkers, were highest in the participants who suffered from respiratory sleep disorders which led to frequent sleep interruptions. (Here’s how to fall back asleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.)
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 20 percent of women and 30 percent of men suffer from sleep apnea, the most common respiratory sleep disorder.
This sleep interruption is much different than the average occasional jolt awake (which may be an evolutionary defense mechanism); individuals afflicted by respiratory sleep disorders have been known to wake up upwards of 60 times per night.
If you’re having issues outside of the realm of sleep disorders, these 13 secrets may help you make it all the way to slamming “snooze” uninterrupted. And if you do suffer from one of the sleep disorders listed above, take a look at these additional precautions against the degenerative brain disease.