My mother died with dementia, I'm 73 years old and have been noticing cognitive decline for about 10 years now. Recently started following Bredesen advice and discovered, among other things, an APOe4 allele. (e4e2).
Quite stunned by the importance of sleep revealed by Dr Matthew Walker in his book "Why We Sleep". Listened to his podcasts with Peter Attia and Rhonda Patrick and now listened to his book on Audible.
I'm now following all the sleep hygene rules - sleep 8 hours whenever I can, same time to bed and to rise, blue light blocking glasses once the lights go on, no screens for an hour before sleep. etc etc Anyhow, I seem to sleep quite well and if I wake in the night get back to sleep again OK
One of the things that Walker points out that its during the deep
sleep phase, mostly early in the night, slow delta waves, spindles, that 1. the days memories get transferred from hippocampus to long-term storage around the cortex and 2. the glial cells shrink and cerebrospinal fluid is squirted thru the brain washing out amyloid plaques and other detritus,
I got myself an Oura ring which is, as far as I can tell, the best way to monitor the stages of sleep though the field is very much in its infancy and Oura is only about 60% accurate compared with getting wired up at a sleep clinic.
Anyhow, after a month of nightly monitoring, the oura tells me that I rarely get anywhere near the 2 hours of deep NREM sleep that would be optimal, often getting none at all or just a few minutes.
Unhappily, Dr Walker doesn't have many ideas about hacking the stages of sleep. He does suggest that a hot bath just before bed increases the amount of deep sleep by 10 or 15% but I haven't noticed any impact as yet.
Just listened to an interesting podcast where Rhonda Patrick (herself with one APOe4 allele) is guest of Joe Rogan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M8X_bs_fzI
. Starting about 1'32" into the program she speaks of Dr Bredesen's work (he was a guest on her podcast October last year - excellent program https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/dale-bredesen
) and then a few minutes later she talks about APOe4. She speaks of 2 mechanisms for clearing the Amyloid plaques and Tau tangles. One is DHA from fish (but perhaps not from fish oil for APOe4s) . She says that APOe4s transport this across the blood-brain barrier 20-fold less efficiently than someone who doesn’t have it. And so they rely on sleep. … "and there’s all sorts of studies on APOe4 showing sleep is a major modifiable risk factor for AD. if you have APOe4 but you’re getting good quality sleep you have like the same risk as someone who doesn’t have it."
So .... how much can I rely on my Oura ring telling me my deep sleep is awry ? Dr Walker did say that the part of the brain responsible for deep sleep, located in the medial cortex, is often the first part of the brain that starts to atrophy with increasing age.
Yet 3 times in the last month Oura tells me I had over an hour of deep sleep, and if this is accurate then it clearly shows that I'm capable
of so doing.
So is there any way, I wonder, that I can intervene to increase the likelihood of lots of deep sleep?
I'd love to hear from any of you who have thought about sleep in relation to APOe4 and have any thoughts on the matter.