Do Nightmares In Middle Age Indicate Your Risk For Dementia?

The majority of people will experience nightmares in their lifetime. These bad dreams can cause temporary emotional distress but are considered harmless.

New research indicates that frequent nightmares during middle age could be a sign of an increased risk for dementia later in life.

What is Dementia

Dementia describes a decline in cognitive abilities, such as memory, language and problem solving. Dementia is usually caused by brain disease or damage, like Alzheimer’s. Dementia progresses over time, which means that it gets worse.

What is the connection between nightmares and dementia?

According to a recent study in The Lancet, people who have frequent nightmares during middle age are more likely than others to develop dementia in later life.

People who report distressing dreams in the age range of 35 to 64 are at least twice as prone to cognitive decline.

Previous research has noted that the relationship between nightmares, brain health and sleep disorders may be in both directions.

Sleep quality is important for your health. It can help you recover and prevent illnesses of the brain and body. Sleep disturbances caused by nightmares can lead to a decline in physical, mental, and cognitive health.

Also, problems or changes in the brain or nervous systems can manifest as nightmares. It is possible that cognitive decline may cause nightmares, rather than the nightmares causing cognitive impairment. Even if there are no other signs of dementia in your middle age, having nightmares may be a sign that you’re developing neurological changes toward dementia.

Even though there’s still much to learn and research about the link between nightmares, dementia and other conditions, it is always a smart idea to tell your doctor if you have disturbing dreams. This could allow for an early diagnosis and treatment before the problem worsens.

Can nightmares be prevented or treated?

You can take a few measures to reduce nightmare frequency and intensity. They include:

* Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can reduce stress and anxiety

* Avoiding certain medicines that have been known to cause nightmares

* Treating any underlying medical conditions that could be causing nightmares

* Maintaining a healthy life style and a regular sleeping schedule

This new study shows that while more research is required to fully understand the connection between nightmares, dementia and other health issues, treating nightmares frequently as a possible health concern should be a priority.

A good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining your health. Therefore, you should address any issues that prevent you from getting a restful sleep.

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