Recent studies have also shown the impacts of sleep apnea on the brain. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes periods of stopped or shallow breathing during sleep. People that have this sleep disorder stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, causing them to wake up frequently at night. These interruptions could last from a few seconds to minutes, and they may happen up to 30 times or more an hour. This can result in daytime fatigue, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents.
Most people are aware of the dangers of driving while fatigued. Drowsy driving can result in slower reflexes, poor decision-making, and an increased risk of accidents. However, what many people don’t realize is that fatigue can also significantly impair performance during daytime hours. This can result in reduced productivity at work, difficulty paying attention and an increased risk of errors. In addition, fatigue can lead to moodiness and irritability, making it difficult to interact with others.
The best part is that sleep apnea treatment can help improve your cognitive function. Studies have shown that people with sleep apnea who use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices experience significantly improved mental function. CPAP therapy can also help to reduce daytime fatigue and improve quality of life.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Brain
Sleep apnea is a condition that can have a major impact on your brain health. There are two primary ways that sleep apnea affects your brain: by causing oxygen deprivation and by triggering inflammation. During an episode of sleep apnea, when you stop breathing, your body doesn’t get the oxygen it requires to function properly. Over time, this can lead to damage to your organs and tissues. This oxygen deprivation can cause changes in your brain that lead to problems with memory and concentration.
In addition, sleep apnea can trigger inflammation in the brain, which has been linked to a host of other health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They’re also at greater risk for cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, and even death.
Previous research has shown that sleep apnea is associated with impaired cognition and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study by sleep experts provides insight into how sleep apnea may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.
The study found that sleep apnea reduces the amount of deep sleep that a person normally gets, which may interrupt the body’s natural process of clearing toxic proteins from the brain during sleep.
Specifically, the study found evidence demonstrating sleep apnea’s association with the impaired clearing of amyloid-beta, a poisonous protein that concentrates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The findings suggest that sleep apnea may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and that treating sleep apnea may help to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Living with untreated sleep apnea can have serious consequences. If you feel like you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to make a point to see a doctor immediately so you can get treated and protect your health. With treatment, you can improve your cognitive function and reduce your risk for serious health problems down the road. Untreated sleep apnea can have very serious consequences for your health, both physically and mentally.
Head Pain Institute uses a CPAP machine to help alleviate our clients’ sleep apnea symptoms. Our highly skilled professionals will assess your conditions, try to pinpoint the causes of your sleep disorder, and make effective recommendations on treatment plans based on these assessments.