In a research paper published in the online journal Neurology, scientists have discovered a potential link between poor REM sleep in both Dementia and Parkinson’s diseases.
The study, using data from the Mayo clinic researchers identified 27 people who experienced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder for at least 15 years before developing one of the above conditions. The study also found that the duration between the beginning of the sleep disorder and the symptoms of the neuroloic disorders ranged up to 50 years, with an average span of 25 years. What is not clear, how ever is if the dementia caused the insomnia or vis-versa.
It is common knowledge that not getting proper REM stage sleep can reek havoc on short term memory, mood and one’s ability to concentrate. It is believed that REM sleep is primarily responsible for for the consolidation of both short and longer term human memory.
Medications known as sedative hypnotics, under the brand names of Ambien, Lunesta and Restorel have also been linked to memory problems and cognitive impairment. It is believed that these medications are responsible for co-factors that can lead to a 35% increase in cancer risks.
David A. Mayen is Founder and CEO of the Sleep Recovery Centers, Inc. An insomnia practice that uses neurofeedback instead of sleeping pills to normalize sleep architecture.
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