Dementia and Daytime Napping Connected, New Research Speculates

Dementia and daytime napping link, shown by an older adult man yawning and pinching his face. Caring Advisor logo shown above text "Dementia & Daytime Napping: The Two-Way Link"

Many people know that dementia can affect plenty of cognitive processes. But what many don’t know is that this condition can affect physiological processes, too… and the reverse is also true, according to recent research published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The Research

The recent study “Daytime napping and Alzheimer’s dementia: A potential bidirectional relationship” states there is a two-way link between excessive daytime napping and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In other words, researchers linked dementia to longer naps and longer naps to worsening cognitive decline.

The link is pretty strong, too. In fact, researchers found that those who napped more than one hour daily were 40% more likely to develop AD than those who did not.

What It Means

This research further proves just how nuanced and complicated Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can be. For starters, this study provides further evidence that AD affects not just mental cognition, but physiological processes also. It also suggests that other behaviors and habits, like excessive daytime napping, may also contribute to or worsen cognitive decline.

While daytime napping doesn’t necessarily mean your grandfather has dementia, if it becomes excessive, it’s worth speaking to him and asking him to see his primary healthcare provider to discuss his risk of AD or related conditions.


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It cannot be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.