While everyone sleeps, we all do not sleep the same.
One of those differences is in the type of sleep we get while we are asleep.
Specifically, it’s called deep sleep. Characterized by specific brain waves, we lose our ability to get deep sleep as we age.￼
People in their 50s get about half as much deep sleep as they did in their 20s.￼
Coincidentally, we lose brain performance and memory power as we age.
Alzheimer’s disease is preceded by changes in people’s sleep patterns before the disease actually occurs.
And these sleep changes create a build up of a toxic protein called Amyloid Beta. ￼
And as more of this compound accumulates, we lose the ability to obtain deep sleep.￼
This is because Amyloid Beta build up occurs in the very part of the brain that enables deep sleep.
But we need Deep Sleep for effective memory retention.
It’s during deep sleep that our brain gets a bath through something called the glymphatic system.
The system is required to clear out the metabolites and other waste products involved in normal brain metabolism.
Also called stage 3 and 4 sleep, deep sleep typically constitutes between 13% to 23% of our total sleep time.
This system also enables the delivery of critical brain nutrients and compounds.
Regular exercise can improve the performance of the Glymphatic System.
As well as the regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
￼Some wearable devices are available in the market that enable the tracking of deep sleep.