No matter what age we are, most of
us experience the odd memory lapse such as forgetting where your
keys are or what you went upstairs to get. Thankfully these moments
pass, unlike those suffering with dementia. Today, Daily Mail
explains how sleep helps to minimise memory problems and help those
with dementia to live as full a life as possible.
If the brain is tired, it affects
the memory even for those without dementia. Recently, scientists
have found out why. During deep sleep, brain waves move memories
from the hippocampus - the area of the brain that is involved in
short-term memory - to the prefrontal cortex at the front of the
brain, where long-term memories are stored.
Getting a good night's sleep can be
especially difficult for those with dementia, especially those with
Alzheimer's disease who may experience changes to their sleeping
patterns. It has not been confirmed why this happens, but it may be
related to the impact the condition has on the brain.
But there are steps that can make it easier.
One step includes avoiding caffeine
- coffee or tea - in the evening. A regular bedtime routine is also
important as this gives the body the cues it needs to feel sleepy
at set times, making it easier to fall asleep.
Although many people believe a
nightcap will help them sleep, alcohol is counter-productive and
tends to make you wake in the night. It is a diuretic and,
therefore, you are likely to wake up needing to go to the loo. It
is also known to reduce the amount of the night you spend in deep,
For more advice and sleep tips,
visit our Sleep Toolkit.