A group og researchers at Stanford University set their minds into studying how one night of poor sleep would affect brain function.
David M. Holzman and colleagues studied 17 adults between 35 and 65 years of age. None of them had problems with sleeping but half of them was for one single night exposed to sounds that would keep them from deep uninterrupted sleep.
What the study found was that a single night of poor sleep boost amyloid beta, a protein that has been linked with Alzheimers. The study also found that a full week of poor sleep elevates tau, another brain protein tied to brain damage in Alzheimers and a number of other neurological diseases.
The study report acknowledges that the weakness of the study is the small study group but gives a clear picture as to what sleep means for not only the risk of Alzheimers but also other neurological diseases.
In my opinion the most alarming finding in this study is that just one night of poor sleep is enough to elevate amyloid beta – and that given how easy the protein is raised, it also points to a link between stress and Alzheimers as well as other neurological diseases.