The connection between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease is a topic of growing interest and is one that appeals to me personally as achieving better sleep is one of the easiest levers at our disposal for improving longevity and health span. It’s also a theme that resonates with the entrepreneur in me who admittedly used to mistakenly wear the number of all-nighters on my sleeve as a badge of honor of my commitment towards my business endeavors. I now know better and I hope my past mistakes and this post help readers from all walks of life. 

While the exact mechanisms are complex, research suggests a significant interplay between sleep quality and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. An increasing number of studies show that with insufficient sleep comes significant oxidative stress that leads to a waterfall of negative consequences. Here’s why:

Imagine sleep as a housekeeping process for your brain. During deep sleep stages, the glymphatic system, a waste-clearing mechanism, becomes more active. This allows the brain to effectively remove toxins, including beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s. When sleep is disrupted, this clearance process is compromised, potentially leading to the accumulation of these harmful substances.

Furthermore, sleep is pivotal for memory consolidation. Adequate sleep enhances the brain’s ability to process and store information gathered during the day. Insufficient sleep, on the other hand, can impede this process, affecting cognitive functions such as learning and memory. I’m always reminded of the experience of staying up the night before a big exam in high school or college to cram for the test, only to find that days later I could barely recall the learnings that I had work so hard to absorb. With poor sleep, repeated over and over again, we can expect to experience cognitive declines, an early hallmark of Alzheimer’s. 

Poor sleep patterns also disrupt the balance of key hormones, such as cortisol and melatonin. This imbalance could contribute to chronic inflammation, a factor linked to both Alzheimer’s and numerous other health issues. 

In our quest to live longer and healthier lives, achieving better sleep is one of the lowest hanging fruit opportunities at our disposal. Prioritizing consistent sleep schedules, creating a comfortable sleep environment and adopting proper sleep hygiene can all aid in fostering critical restorative sleep. This is one of those areas where it’s okay to be selfish! By championing the importance of sleep in your life, you’re not only investing in your own health, you’re also setting an example for friends, family and colleagues that will help them stave off Alzheimer’s disease and live longer, healthier and happier.


  • Ryan Frankel

    Entrepreneur, Founder of This App Saves Lives, Mentor, Fitness Enthusiast, Proud Dad x2

    Ryan is the creator of Longevity Today (, a longevity and wellness newsletter. Ryan is a serial entrepreneur and most recently was the Founder of This App Saves Lives, ("TASL"), a mobile app-based solution that rewards undistracted driving behavior. Previously, Ryan founded the online nutrition coaching platform, EduPlated. He was the CEO and Co-Founder of VerbalizeIt, a language translation services company featured on Shark Tank and which was acquired in 2016. Ryan is an author, Wharton MBA alumnus, mentor, Inc. Magazine Top 35 Under 35 entrepreneur and an Ironman triathlete. You'll find him residing just outside of Philadelphia with his wife, two kids, Golden Retriever and pair of running shoes.