Dementia represents a constellation of symptoms associated with ongoing cognitive decline. There are different types of this captivating condition, and Lewy body dementia is he second most common progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. It is caused by the formation of protein deposits called Lewy bodies in nerve cells in areas of the brain involved in thought, memory and movement.
Whether it’s simply being unable to take a nap or being awakened by a nightmare in the middle of the night, everyone suffers from not sleeping well from time to time.
But if your partner or housemate complains of screaming and kicking when you’re in deep sleep, it could be a warning sign of dementia.
Evelina Sabonaityte, physician and clinical dietitian, said:
“As a result, these individuals may seek to express themselves through physical acts rather than verbal communication, as memories become more concrete during sleep states such as REM sleep. [rapid eye movement] Go to bed when dreams are most frequent. “
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REM sleep, one of the five stages of sleep, usually begins about 90 minutes after you take a nap.
Dreams at this stage are usually more vivid, fanciful, and even bizarre.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dementia with Lewy bodies can lead to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. This means that they begin to physically act out vivid and often unpleasant dreams with sounds and sudden movements.
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People with this disorder may start hitting, kicking, yelling, and screaming in their sleep.
A review published in The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that 90% of people with dementia with Lewy bodies usually have at least one form of sleep disturbance.
This research is based on a total of 70 articles, including 20 studies focusing on subjective sleep.
The NHS recommends seeing a GP if you have symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies.
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How to reduce the risk of dementia
Certain risk factors, such as age and genetics, are non-negotiable, while others can be easily switched.
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle, from eating healthy to exercising regularly, is one of the greatest weapons you can add to your arsenal of defenses against dementia.
When it comes to diet, the NHS recommends eating a healthy, balanced diet with low saturated fat, salt and sugar intake.
In addition, other interventions such as quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol may help lower the risk.