We all know that getting a bad night’s rest makes for a difficult next day. And it turns out that if you’re a chronic bad sleeper (getting 6 hours or less sleep per night) you may be increasing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins called amyloid in and around brain cells. Studies suggest that poor sleep patterns are associated with the presence of amyloid plaques in cognitively healthy individuals. Just one night of sleep deprivation can increase the levels of amyloid in the brain.