People who dream a lot while sleeping are less likely to develop dementia. This was just one of the conclusions of a groundbreaking study that took 12 years to complete.
The study was conducted by the Boston University Medical School of 321 participants over the age of 60. They were followed for an average of 12 years and their sleep patterns recorded. This was so the researchers could see if there was a link between the amount we dream and our mental health.
Scientists are able to detect when we dream based on rapid eye movement (REM), along with higher body temperature, faster breathing and a quicker pulse, which all reflect increased brain activity.
Following the conclusion of the study, it has been concluded that REM sleep is directly linked to our mental health as we get older. The researchers’ data, for example, assessed that a single percent drop in the amount of sleeping time spent in REM increased your chances of developing dementia by 9 per cent.
But simple getting more sleep is not the answer
It was also assessed that getting more than nine hours each night could double the risk of developing dementia in 10 years compared to participants who slept for nine hours or less.
“Different stages of sleep may differentially affect key features of Alzheimer’s disease. Our findings implicate REM sleep mechanisms as predictors of dementia,” – Dr Matthew Pase from the Boston University Medical School
Steps to Improve Sleep Quality Naturally
As the research shows, simply increasing your hours of sleep is not the answer. You need to improve the quality of your sleep to gain the health benefits of dreams.
In this article we share 6 sleep hygiene tips. In addition, to improve your sleep it may help to increase your levels of melatonin. This is known as the “sleep hormone”, which your body releases naturally at bedtime to induce the relaxed state of mind you need for sleep.
It is believed that some people may be deficient in melatonin, due to staring at “blue screen” smartphones and laptops too much. Another reason is because many people don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight, which your body needs to produce melatonin.
Thankfully, it is possible to boost your melatonin levels with a melatonin supplement.
If you struggle with bouts of insomnia or want to increase the quality of your sleep patterns, taking a melatonin supplement at bedtime may help give your brain and body the healthy, rejuvenating sleep it craves.
Disclaimer – Melatoin is not a magic pill. Any supplement needs to be taken in combination with a healthy diet and daily exercise to gain its health benefits. Statements made in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. You should never make changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor as some natural ingredients may interfere with them. Melatonin is not designed to treat or cure any disease.