Better tuck in early tonight—and every night, for that matter—as TIME reports that not being able to get ample sleep may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US analyzed data on 70 volunteers in their mid-70s who participated in a previous Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The participants were surveyed about their sleeping patterns and habits and were asked to undergo brain scans to check for any buildup of beta amyloid plaque, which is one of the main indicators of Alzheimer's disease.

The results showed that beta amyloid levels fluctuated depending on the participants' sleeping patterns. Those who reported less or frequently disrupted sleep had higher levels of plaque buildup compared with those who had better evening slumbers.

Although these findings do not necessarily mean that older adults with bad sleeping habits will definitely develop Alzheimer's disease, they serve as a reminder that getting enough sleep is important.


(Photo by Liz West via Flickr Creative Commons)

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