Take just one vitally relevant illness of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia… we learn from Dr. Matthew Walker that, besides countless other health relevance, sleep deprivation may be highly contributory to this debilitating disease…over 5 millions suffering today in North America and rapidly growing…may be critical to proper brain function! Sleep So Significant Alzheimer’s! This hopefully is a module that we can have a large degree of control over, yet failure to optimize may be utterly debilitating. Yet another example of where we may follow health modules covered by this Blog…yet just an ignorant lapse respecting sleep…largely within our own control…may undo positives we have accomplished elsewhere! We must optimize ourselves as best we may so as to minimize harm that may emanate from improper sleep. All sorts of reasons sleep patterns interrupted…shift work, infants, stress, time zones, our essentially nocturnal oriented life, lighting, EMFs, drugs, alcohol…all can disrupt sleep patterns. Knowledge here is power! Personally, believed that genetics may be rationale for limited sleep…my father seemed to get by with limited hours and a catnap at lunchtime!..and therefore argument flows: seize that advantage in time...BUT may be fundamentally flawed! Odds are extreme that one fits into exception category! Downside can be catastrophic! Including the steady inducement of Dementia and Alzheimer’s! At risk of repetition…even though we maximize all the other myriad health items this Blog discusses…just take away sleep…and much may be undone! Sleep So Significant Alzheimer’s!
Matthew Walker assesses that half of the North American population is sleep deprived! That trying to catch up on the weekends really ineffective effective. The damage has mostly been done! There may be an evolutionary reason for this…our bodies, as an example, able to revert to ketosis for survival…and the animal world to a greater or lesser degree has fine tuned this quality through evolutionary survival, but sleep did not fit that quality. Our ancestors really just naturally slept! In fact it was almost a quality FOR survival…as humans are vulnerable at night compared, let’s say, to the cat world or species of birds such as owls! So the antithesis of FAILURE to sleep is NOT in our genetic survival makeup! As a result we do not have that capacity to store sleep! It’s the exact opposite…the disastrous consequences of failure to sleep enough means ‘expression’ of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress…its a mitochondrial and cellular damage scourge! Brain wise, without sufficient sleep, neuron degeneration sets in meaning Dementia. On the positive side sleep increases ability to gain insights that would otherwise remain elusive, by as much as a 250 % factor, and that may be conservative listening to Dr. Matthew Walker!
Except in rare cases we need between seven and nine hours…and children progressively more! Even their performance in exams is drastically affected by sleep deprivation…a factor that most schools…including those my children attend, seem to be oblivious. Usually private schools, in order to maximize their vacations, start early morning…much to their pupils utmost detriment! This from the point of view of grades, university entry, and school optimization.
Vital to maintain metabolic homeostasis generally, but particularly important for our brains…and as pointed out Alzheimer’s is a viscous example and result. Toxic waste is removed from our brain through the glymphatic system which ramps up only during sleep when cerebral spinal fluid is pumped through epanded brain tissues, and flush waste out into the body circulatory system, eventually for elimination through the liver. Also memory needs sleep to make sense of life events and gain insights that would otherwise be absent…it actually allows memory and recall…! We also need biological homeostasis and our system is all part of a complicated clock system! disrupt this at our peril! Every cell has their own clock system and very recently a Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for the discovery of this intricate system. Sleep So Significant Alzheimer’s!