CLEVELAND – A recent study has found that older adults who regularly nap for more than an hour a day had a 40% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“I have seen in many of my patients with Alzheimer’s disease that they do start to sleep more and they do tend to nap more during the day as their cognition declines. But I was surprised to see that napping actually perhaps promoted the appearance and the emergence of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dylan Wint, MD, neurologist for Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Wint was not a part of the actual study but said it is important people not panic over the findings.
He said what matters more is why an individual might be napping for longer periods of time during the day. It could simply be due to an undiagnosed sleeping disorder, or maybe it’s even out of boredom.
If that’s the case, he recommends finding more activities in your day to stimulate you.
However, if you do find the need to nap, he said to make sure to keep it to 45 minutes or less.
“It really is important to let you doctor know if something is not right about your sleep because sleep is a key component of maintaining health of the brain and the body,” said Dr. Wint.
Researchers from the study said more work needs to be done to determine whether less napping could help slow down age-related cognitive decline.