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INTRODUCTION: It is established that Alzheimers disease (AD) patients experience sleep disruption. However, it remains unknown whether disruption in the quantity, quality or timing of sleep is a risk factor for the onset of AD. METHODS: Mendelian randomization (MR) was used to estimate the causal effect of self-reported and accelerometer-measured sleep parameters (chronotype, duration, fragmentation, insomnia, daytime napping and daytime sleepiness) on AD risk. RESULTS: Overall, there was little evidence that sleep traits affect the risk of AD. There was some evidence to suggest that self-reported daytime napping was associated with lower AD risk (odds ratio [OR]: 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50 to 0.99). Some other sleep traits (accelerometer-measured eveningness and sleep duration, and self-reported daytime sleepiness) had ORs for AD risk of a similar magnitude to daytime napping, but were less precisely estimated. DISCUSSON: Our findings provide tentative evidence that daytime napping may reduce AD risk. However, findings should be replicated using independent samples.

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