Excessive Daytime Naps May Signal Early Dementia

A new study found that daytime naps were associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Older adults in the study were 40 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease when they napped daily or snoozed for more than an hour on nap days, the study found. And, once they developed Alzheimer’s disease, the frequency and duration of naps increased.

“Daytime sleep behaviors of older adults are oftentimes ignored,” said the lead study author, Peng Li, PhD, of the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in an article in the Harvard Gazette.

“Our results not only suggest that excessive daytime napping may signal an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, but they also show that a faster yearly increase in daytime napping may be a sign of deteriorating or unfavored clinical progression of the disease,” Dr. Li said.

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