"We demonstrate that men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a 1.5-fold higher risk to develop Alzheimer's disease than those without reports of sleep disturbances during a 40-year follow-up period," said lead researcher Christian Benedict from Uppsala University in Sweden.

"The later the self-reported sleep disturbance was found the higher the risk was for developing Alzheimer's disease," Benedict added.

The researchers followed more than 1,000 men, who were initially 50 year old, between the years 1970 and 2010. The data suggest that a regular good night's sleep could support brain health in men.

"These findings suggest that strategies aimed at improving sleep quality in late life may help reduce the risk to develop Alzheimer's disease," Benedict pointed out.

The researchers also pointed out that several lifestyle factors, such as exercise, can influence the brain's health.

"Thus, it must be borne in mind that a multifaceted lifestyle approach comprising good sleep habits is essential for maintaining brain health as you age", Benedict stressed.

The results appeared in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia.

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