Link between Insomnia and the Development of Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting many adults over the age of 65. There is no known cure of AD. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease” (2019). “Alzheimer’s causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms develop slowly and can become severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with AD in 2018 (Alzheimer’s Association, 2019). The recommended amount of sleep per night for older adults is 7-8 hours (National Sleep Foundation, 2019). Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, with symptoms of difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, as stated by the National Institutes of Health (2019). Forty-four percent of people over the age of 65 experience symptoms of insomnia. It is suggested that insomnia increases the development of one of the major pathological agents in AD: amyloid-beta plaques. The purpose of this Evidenced Based Practice Brief is to research how insomnia compared to adequate sleep in patients sixty-five years and older increases the risk of the development of AD. By looking at the research regarding whether insomnia increases a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, nurses will be able to provide current evidence based practice when aiding in preventative strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.