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Get Plenty of ZZZZZ’s For Alzheimer’s Prevention- Does Melatonin Help With Alzheimer’s?

Posted by on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

When it comes to Alzheimer’s prevention, getting enough quality sleep every night is certainly at the top of the list when it comes to self-care priorities. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, new studies indicate that difficulty sleeping may end up causing memory problems as we grow older. So what can you do to promote a restful night’s sleep while adhering to the Alzheimer’s diet?

Sleep and Alzheimer's prevention

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In a recent study that will be published in April 2013 in the American Academy of Neurology, those who reported waking over 5 times in an hour time span are at high risk for developing amyloid plaques-a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.  Lack of adequate sleep can also lead to weight gain which is also a high risk factor in Alzheimer’s.

Many of those with Alzheimer’s (as well as elderly people in general) suffer from sleep disorders. According to a study published by, those who took 2 mg of melatonin slept better than those who took a placebo in double blind studies. Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of information gathered from the study was that there were NO significant side effects noted in those who took melatonin to promote sleep.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in humans, animals, and plants. Melatonin levels increase during the sleep cycle promoting restful sleep patterns. It is used as an over the counter “natural” sleep remedy.
As we age, melatonin levels tend to decrease, and some scientists believe it’s possible that this lack of natural melatonin could be partially responsible for age related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, glucose intolerance, impaired immune system, as well as cancer. 

Melatonin was found to increase the life span of rats in lab studies by as much as 20%, but there have not been any significant enough studies in humans to prove that fact, or that melatonin could be a cure for any disease entities.

Melatonin and Sleep Disorders

Melatonin is thought by many to be a natural remedy for sleep disorders and according to one Spanish study; melatonin was more effective at treating sleep disorders than other medications.

Nutrition and Sleep Promotion

There are many foods that help you sleep. Examples of those foods high in melatonin include; oatmeal, cherries, bananas, and of course-warm milk. 

cherries with melatonin for Alzheimer's prevention

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When it comes to nutrition and sleep promotion, many people advocate for foods high in natural melatonin.
According to “The Alzheimer’s Diet” book, the most important nutritional aspect of addressing insomnia in those with Alzheimer’s is to limit those foods that cause sleeplessness such as caffeinated and alcoholic beverages-particularly after mid-day. This is not to say that coffee or red wine is not allowed on the Alzheimer’s diet, just not in large quantities at bedtime.

Examples of foods high in caffeine include; chocolate and cocoa, many different types of tea, caffeinated soda, and even some types of chewing gum. Be sure to check labels for Alzheimer’s nutrition to learn about foods high in caffeine.  

In Conclusion

There are many components to effective Alzheimer’s prevention, including getting adequate sleep each night.  Learning which foods promote sleep and which ones inhibit it are important factors in implementing Alzheimer’s prevention.  To learn more about Dr. Richard Isaacson’s recommendations regarding sleep promotion for Alzheimer’s prevention, order your copy of his book-”The Alzheimer’s Diet” today. 


For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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