Is Your Bad Night’s Sleep Causing Dementia?

Sleep is increasingly found to be more important for the brain and body’s functioning. Another recent discovery concerning sleep apnea and its effect on a person was found by researchers in the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System. It was found that men with sleep issues and disorders, such as sleep apnea, may be more likely to develop problems that are linked to dementia. This was especially prevalent in older men.

When your body is fighting a condition like sleep apnea, you are not getting enough sleep at night and therefore you may be actually harming the structure of your brain. When your brain gets low levels of oxygen, it may actually cause minor injuries to your brain. People with sleep apnea were nearly 4 times as likely to have these injuries which could easily lead to dementia.

The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Rebecca P. Gelber, states, “We found that low oxygen levels…involve changes in the small blood vessels of the brain and injury to the surrounding neurons….We also found that less time spent in slow-wave sleep, which has been considered the deep, restorative stage of sleep…was associated with generalized atrophy of the brain.”

Your brain and body depend on oxygen getting to all parts of your system or else functioning is much more difficult. It is possible that treatment of your sleep apnea may lead to a decrease in the amount of cognitive decline you face.

Even without these recent findings, it is essential that you get tested for sleep apnea when you have any inkling that you have the condition. Some of the good news about sleep apnea is that it is a highly-treatable disorder and this treatment can reverse some of the bad effects and has been reported to improve cognitive performance.

The ongoing symptoms of a person that may have sleep apnea include snoring while deeply asleep, trouble concentrating during daytime hours, and waking up during sleep with gasping or choking. In many situations, a partner reports that snoring or gasping is an issue where the person with the sleep apnea may only notice signs during the daytime.

If you believe you have sleep apnea or another sleep condition, seek the care of the doctors at FusionSleep to assist you. We are qualified sleep doctors able to diagnose and treat any conditions you may have. Contact us today to book a consultation.