According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
The NHS states that some of the early symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and mood changes. However, one doctor speaking to The Express has highlighted that there is a hidden symptom that can be a sign of the syndrome.
While there is no cure for dementia, early detection can ensure that the condition is managed and you can get the help you need.
The ‘hidden’ sign of dementia
Dr Rayaz Malik, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar warned that taking naps throughout the day could be a sign of dementia saying, “Taking frequent daytime naps is also a notable behaviour associated with certain conditions, including dementia, and losing interest in friends and family is a sign that may indicate dementia.”
This is backed by Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dr Susan Mitchell, Head of Policy from Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “Unusual sleep patterns are common for people with dementia, but research suggests that sleep changes could be apparent long before any symptoms like memory loss start to show.”
According to research, this appears to only apply to older people. In something of a paradox, scientists in the US have suggested that those who nap more frequently when they get older are more likely to get dementia, but those who have dementia are more likely to nap.
So, how long should we actually nap for?
A healthy nap is around 15-45 minutes, according to experts. However, the NHS urges that if you experience excessive daytime sleepiness, you should speak to your GP as it could be a sign of something more serious.