New research suggests men with self-reported sleep disorders may be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men without them.

Swedish researchers followed more than 1,000 men, who were initially 50 year old, between the years 1970 and 2010.

They found that self-reported sleep disturbances were linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease during the 40-year follow-up period, particularly if they occurred late in life.

The data suggests that a regular good night’s sleep could support brain health in men.

The study is published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

‘We demonstrate that men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a 1.5-fold higher risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those without reports of sleep disturbances during a 40-year follow-up period,” said study leader Christian Benedict, Ph.D., a sleep researcher at Uppsala University.

Researchers discovered self-reported sleep disturbance among older men increased the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

These findings suggest that strategies aimed at improving sleep quality in late life may help reduce the risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

“Importantly, there are several lifestyle factors, such as exercise, that can influence your brain’s health. Thus, it must be borne in mind that a multifaceted lifestyle approach comprising good sleep habits is essential for maintaining brain health as you age,” Benedict said.

Source: Uppsala University/EurekAlert