Want to help your older family member improve their memory and brain health? New research suggests that making sure they get a good night’s sleep can do that. Researchers from Boston University recently conducted a study that offered evidence suggesting sleep helps to wash away the day’s toxins.
Sleep and Brain Toxin Study
Past research has proven that the cerebrospinal fluid helps to flush byproducts of metabolism away from the brain. And, they knew that the process of flushing away byproducts worked more efficiently during sleep. However, they didn’t know how or why that happened. To find out more about the process, scientists involved in this latest study recruited 11 adults to participate in a sleep study. The scientists used MRIs and electroencephalograms to monitor the electrical activity in the brain.
The scientists found that when people were in the deepest phase of sleep, cerebrospinal fluid flowed more freely into the brain. They saw these “large, pulsing waves” of fluid only during deep sleep.
This study is especially important to older adults because one of the waste products that is flushed away is beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is a kind of protein that forms clumps in the brains of people who have dementia, affecting their cognitive abilities and leading to memory loss.
Tips for Better Sleep
While further study is needed in regard to the affects of deep sleep on the brain, getting a good night’s sleep is important to your older family member’s physical and emotional health. If your older family member is having some trouble sleeping, here are some tips that should help:
- Follow a Schedule: Sticking to a schedule for waking up and going to bed each day helps to regulate the body’s internal clock, which can help the senior to fall asleep more easily at bedtime.
- Pay Attention to Food: It will be harder for the older adult to fall asleep if their stomach is growling, so if they are feeling a little hungry close to bedtime, a small snack can help. However, a full stomach can also make sleep more difficult, so avoid serving a large meal or snack within a couple hours of bedtime. In addition, be careful with foods that can encourage wakefulness, like caffeinated beverages.
- Limit Napping: Many older adults nap during the day. A short nap is fine if it doesn’t seem to be interfering with sleep. However, if the senior is taking lengthy naps, they may not feel tired at night.
Senior care can help improve the sleep of older adults. Senior care providers can come to the older adult’s house at the same time each morning to help them get out of bed and start their day. Senior care providers can also help them to get ready for bed each night. In addition, senior care providers can cook healthy meals and snacks that will ensure the older adult is not too hungry or too full when they go to bed. To limit napping, a senior care provider can keep your aging relative busy during the day with interesting activities.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Senior Care in Seminole, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.
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