Lack of sleep may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep deprivation for one night boosted levels of amyloid beta (a biomarker linked to Alzheimer’s) disease by 25-30% in healthy participants. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the important role sleep plays in brain health. Many other observational studies have shown an association between poor sleep and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. There have been a couple small clinical trials (such as this one) that have shown lack of sleep increases amyloid beta protein levels.
Several animal studies and a few human studies have found that sleep is important to activate the glymphatic system which uses cerebral spinal fluid to clear away amyloid plaques and other aggregates in the brain.