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Sleep Disturbances and Dementia Risk

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 11 March 2023
Sleep Disturbances and Dementia Risk

A good night’s sleep is so important for maintaining overall health and well-being, but recent research suggests that it can also have a critical impact on your risk of developing dementia.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has linked three indicators of sleep disturbance – sleep-initiation insomnia, sleep-maintenance insomnia, and the use of sleep medications – with the likelihood of developing dementia.

People who experience sleep-initiation insomnia, i. e. have difficulty falling asleep within 30 minutes, as well as those who take sleep medications, are found to have an increased risk of developing dementia.

Interestingly, the study also suggests that those who reported suffering from sleep-maintenance insomnia, i. e. difficulty getting back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night, are actually found to have a reduced risk of developing dementia.

These findings, which were obtained from an analysis of the National Health and Aging Trends Study, demonstrate the need for lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.

This highlights the importance of considering one’s sleep patterns and habits when assessing the risk of developing dementia. Future research is needed to explore the link between sleep and dementia in more depth and to uncover any possible modifiable risk factors.

For people struggling with sleep, the herb lavender is highly recommended.

Lavender is an aromatic shrub that has long been used for its numerous health benefits. Its essential oils can be used to help relax the mind and body and induce better sleep, reduce anxiety and stress levels, treat skin conditions, heal wounds, and reduce spasms, among many others. Lavender is also known to improve mood, boost immunity, help alleviate headaches, provide anti-inflammatory properties, and even act as an anti-fungal agent. By using lavender products such as essential oils, creams, and teas, individuals can easily access the numerous benefits of this powerful herb.

Lavender is widely recognised for its ability to help promote relaxation and better sleep. Its essential oil has a calming and sedative effect which has been used for centuries to treat insomnia. Inhaling the scent of lavender has been shown to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm anxiety. Many people also find that a pillow spray with lavender essential oil can help reduce restlessness and improve sleep quality. Additionally, lavender tea is a great nighttime drink when consumed before bed as it reduces stress hormones and increases the body's relaxation response which encourages a more restful sleep.

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsCancerSleepBlogsWestern Herbal Medicine, Nutrients, Chinese & Ayurveda


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • British Naturopathic Association