When we think of sleep apnea, we often think of CPAPs, snoring and daytime sleepiness, but did you also know that sleep apnea can correlate with memory loss? There are many ways that sleep apnea affects your brain, which ultimately can cause your memory to decline earlier than normal. This is just another reason to get your sleep apnea treated properly as soon as you notice a change in your sleep. Sleep apnea can also cause other health concerns such as heart problems and high blood pressure. Learn about how sleep apnea affects your brain, and what you can do to prevent it.
The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea affects millions of people every year, yet we don’t hear much about the impacts on your health that come along with it. In reality, sleep apnea, if treated properly, should not have large impacts on your health, but when it is left untreated year after year is when your body and health start to pay the price.
Everyone needs a sufficient amount of sleep, which for adults is about 7 hours per night to be well-rested. When you have sleep apnea, you are not getting the deep REM sleep that your body needs. While you are sleeping, you stop breathing multiple times, causing your brain to not get the oxygen it needs to properly function. Not only is this taking a toll on your brain, but also throughout your entire body. You may not notice the impact it has on you in the beginning, but over time you might.
How Sleep Apnea Correlates to Alzheimer’s
This is when you might notice the cognitive decline after suffering from sleep apnea for years. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Researchers from New York University studied data from nearly 2,500 people between the ages of 55 and 90 who had Alzheimer’s disease. They found those with breathing problems were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment an average of 10 years earlier than people without sleep breathing problems. This makes up a large amount when you think of how many people suffer from sleep apnea every year. While CPAPs may not be the most attractive or sound the most pleasant, they are definitely encouraging good health as those who use these devices, notice health changes much later than with those who do not choose to treat their sleep apnea.
How To Prevent It
When it comes to prevention, there is one thing that sticks out the most - a CPAP machine. These devices are tried and true methods to help treat sleep apnea, but there are also other things you can do to help improve your health if you have this condition. We recommend getting a healthy, balanced diet each and every day. We also suggest getting 30 minutes of consistent exercise to keep your body in good shape. These two simple things can not only help with your sleep apnea diagnosis, but also help with your brain and cognitive functions down the road.
While it may not always be the first thing on your mind, your future comes quicker than you think and it is easier to take care of your body before the issues arise. If you think you have sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PulseAir. We’re here to help!