Over 50% of seniors report that they have sleep problems. Sleep problems are often compounded by neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, making sleep even more difficult. However, there are several supplements such as galantamine that can help those who struggle with sleep.
It has been reported that a range from about 25%-64% of dementia patients experience sleep disturbances most nights. This range depends on the stage of dementia, age, gender, and other factors. There may be one commonly shared pattern – a disorder called irregular sleep-wake rhythm. This disorder is caused by an absence of the sleep-wake cycle’s circadian synchronization. It makes people feel tired when they don’t want to be, and restless when they want to get some sleep at night. Different treatments exist to treat this disorder such as sleep/wake scheduling, light therapy, melatonin, physical and social activity, and mixed modality treatment.
There is skepticism and concern about sleeping pills and their effectiveness over the long-term, and potential side effects. However, research has been positive for supplements such as melatonin.
There has also been encouraging research regarding galantamine. A recent study sought to evaluate the influences of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) on sleep patterns and disturbances. The details of the study are complex, but in a nutshell, it was found that 81.8% of patients with dementia who took galantamine found an improvement in their sleep.
There are more benefits! Galantamine has been found to increase acetycholine levels which supports memory; boost mental clarity and focus; and helps induce lucid dreaming states.
Remember, that sleep is very important to overall health. Chronic sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can be caused by stress, or even mental-health conditions, but it can also be due to unrecognized sleep disorders. If you are finding yourself constantly not feeling refreshed after a night of sleep, sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder.
Here are some consequences of sleep deprivation:
- Decreased performance and alertness
- Memory and cognitive impairment
- Stress relationships (You may be disturbing your partner’s sleep, for example)
- Poor quality of life (too tired to participate in activities that make you happy)
- Occupation injury (higher risk of getting hurt)
- Automobile injury (from falling asleep at the wheel)
Those are just the short-term consequences. Sleep disorders can be associated with many diseases as well such as high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, ADD, etc. Studies have even shown that the mortality risk for those who get less than 6-7 hours of sleep a night, increases!
So never blame your poor quality of sleep on “just the stresses of life”, it could be more serious than that and it will impact your mental and physical health in many ways.
If you think you have a sleep disorder, you should talk to your family doctor about your concerns and consider adding a supplement such as galantamine or melatonin to your routine to help sleep better at night.