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The guide to

Better sleep for a healthier brain

Sleep as dementia defense


Sleep and the brain

Sleep & Brain Health


Before we begin…

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What does healthy sleep have to do with a healthy brain?


During sleep, the body balances:

  • Appetite hormones (leptin and ghrelin)
  • Growth hormones

Adequate sleep helps lower cortisol levels, a hormone tied to stress.

High quality sleep supports a healthy gut microbiome, facilitating digestion.


Sleep is essential to overall health

Sleep helps us focus and gives us the energy to think and perform at our best during the day.

Sleep boosts our attention span, planning abilities, time management, prioritization, emotional control, and other executive functions.

Sleep converts short-term memories to long-term memories, making us less forgetful.

Get rid of zoomy animation and hidden text, just write it out on the slide — it's easy to miss if you don't click, not intuitive interactives, and the zoom is distracting

Productivity and creativity
Learning and executive function


Memory consolidation

It's also essential to cognitive health

Read more on beingpatient.com

When we're not sleeping well, the glymphatic system could malfunction, allowing problematic proteins to build up in the brain.


The glymphatic system is like the brain's janitor, and it works at night, clearing out harmful cells as we sleep. It uses spinal fluid to wash away toxic proteins like beta-amyloid, which builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Sleep as an Alzheimer's defense

Read more on beingpatient.com

Expert Perspective

“During the day, let’s say, you put some dishes in your dishwasher, and you have a buildup of dirt and grime. [Those are] the beta-amyloid proteins that we know are associated with dementia risk...During deep sleep, all of this is drained away, and the beta-amyloid is drained away during the nighttime. That is why deep sleep is critical for us.”

The importance of deep sleep


Being Patient interviewed Dr. Roger Wong, who notes that getting enough sleep allows your brain to go through its important cleaning cycle, which sets us up to be considerably more well-rested.

Roger Wong, PhD, MPH, MSWAssistant Professor of Public Health and Preventive MedicineSUNY Upstate Medical University

Let's get a slide in here with an expert face and quote. Wong might have some things

Scientists are still learning more about the link between sleep and brain health.


Does sleep apnea increase dementia risk?

Read more

Read more

Are sleeping drugs good or bad for the brain?

Questions researchers are asking

Better sleep for better brain health



Chronic sleep deprivation also causes:
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Poor attention span
Not sleeping enough makes you:
  • Forgetful
  • Less focused
  • More moody




What happens when you don't get enough sleep?

REM Sleep
  • Memories are consolidated
  • Microglia repair the brain
  • Immune system is reinforced
Deep Sleep
  • Restorative sleep, allowing for bodily recovery and growth
Dozing Off
  • Transition between sleep and wakefulness
  • Benefits from cool and dark setting
Light Sleep
  • Body activity slows
  • Prevents daytime fatigue


Stagesof Sleep

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Exercise to manage your stress

Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed

Avoid long daytime naps

Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark


Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine

Maintain a regular sleep schedule

Science-backed advice for better sleep

...but too much napping could also lead to Alzheimer's

Read more on beingpatient.com

Read more on beingpatient.com

Short naps are linked to higher brain volume...

However, Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a link between excessive daytime napping and cognitive aging: excessive daytime napping as it predicted an increased future risk of Alzheimer’s, and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s sped up the increase in daytime napping during aging.


Other studies have found the oppposite - that naps could signal a person has dementia. we can't just mention the good study. include them both here and ping me to review - https://www.beingpatient.com/napping-alzheimers/

Researchers at Harvard and UCL found that habitual nappers who regularly nap just five to 15 minutes a day have a higher total brain volume, which may aid with alertness and other mental skills. They concluded that daytime napping "may limit cognitive decline as a person ages".

Research on naps and brain health


Want to learn more?



for the latest news and information on brain health and Alzheimer's disease