LBD (Lewy Body Disease) is actually a common form of dementia; maybe even more common than Alzheimer’s. However, it is most often misdiagnosed. It shares symptomatic similarities with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, both well-known forms of dementia; however, the pathology is different. A hallmark of LBD is a sleep disorder called Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Disorder.
An article titled Brains Sweep Themselves Clean of Toxins During Sleep was published that explains why sleep is an important piece in the dementia puzzle. The article describes sleep as a “dishwasher” for the brain. And that when we sleep, the cells clear harmful toxins, toxins that may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours.
Researchers found that one of the waste products removed is beta-amyloid, the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is interesting to note, that Alzheimer’s, as well as other forms of dementia, like Lewy Body Disease, are linked to sleep disorders. There are some who legitimately have a sleep disorder that requires medical attention. However, research has found that a good majority of people do not have a sleep disorder, but need to implement some healthy sleep habits, reduce stress in their lives and balance their hormones.
If sleep eludes you, you need to do something about it. And for most people, the solution is not a sleeping pill. The future of your brain health depends on it.
Sleep can dictate how much we eat, how fast our metabolism runs, how fat or thin we get, whether we can fight off infections, how creative or insightful we can be, how well we can cope with stress, how quickly we can process information and learn new things, and how well we can organize and store memories. Adequate sleep, which for the vast majority of use means at least seven solid hours, also influences our genes. Anything that negatively affects these important functions in the body impacts the brain.” David Perlmutter, MD board-certified neurologist and author of Grain Brain.