How Does Stress And Poor Sleep Increase Your Risk Of Alzheimer’s and Dementia?


There are a myriad of lifestyle changes a person can make to reduce their chances of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Sleep deprivation and high stress levels are two of the most obvious yet simple to change to reduce the chances ofdeveloping these life changing diseases. To help you find out more, we have spoken to the UK’s leading nutritionist, Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD (, who offers her expert advice on how stress and poor sleep can increase your risk and what you can do to combat this.


Getting too little sleep can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. An adequate amount of sleep allows you to be more awake and vigilant and during sleep, your brain can make your experiences during the day more permanent, which is vital to being able to retrieve memories and recallinformation.

Whilst our hectic and busy lives make it difficult to get enough sleep every night, you should try to aim for at least six to eight hours per night, to allow your brain time to recharge and prepare for the next day. So, give yourself time before bed away from screens and bright light to increase your chances of having a good night’s sleep.


Top tips for a good night’s sleep  

Put away screens or devices at least an hour before bed
Use blackout curtains or blinds
Don’t have an alarm clock or night light that emits a light during the night
Get lots of bright light during the day and early evening – this can help prevent ‘sundowning’, an increased state of confusion towards the end of the day in people with Alzheimer’s
Do something relaxing before bed, such as taking a shower or listening to an audio book
Try a combination of natural ingredients, including Valerian, Hops, Chamomile or Sleep Support by NHP,



Excessive stress can also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia. When under stress, your body produces both adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone we all need and is there to keep us alert and protect us from danger. However, research suggests that the release of too much cortisol can lead to memory loss.

It’s so important to take care of your emotional wellbeing, and there are various ways a person can manage stress. Take a moment to evaluate whether your job is causing you too much stress, and whether you can perhaps delegate responsibilities, or lessen your hours. Ensuring you’re eating little and often throughout the day to regulate your blood sugar levels, which also reduces stress. You should also try taking certain vitamins can also help reduce stress, such as B vitamins and magnesium.