Healthy Living

Sleep Apnea and Dementia: New Link Discovered

REM Sleep Stage and Dementia

Another study states that people who get fewer REM (rapid eye movements) known as dream-stage sleep, may have a higher risk of developing dementia. As the fifth stage of sleep, REM makes our body heat up. Our breathing, as well as our pulse, quickens during this stage. As a result, our mind dreams. Researchers examined 321 people for many years. Their average age is 61. Each person’s sleep cycles was measured. Their cognitive abilities were also evaluated at regular intervals. Over the period of the study, 32 of them developed dementia. Of the 32, 24 were found out to have Alzheimer's disease. The study showed that those who took longer than the usual 90 minutes to move into REM stage were the ones who got dementia. They only spent around 17% of their sleep dreaming. On the other hand, those who didn’t get dementia spent 20% of their sleep dreaming. Take note that no correlation with dementia was found in the other four stages of sleep.