Over the decades, researchers have uncovered fascinating ways in which sleep aids brain function. On the other hand, some of their studies have uncovered disturbing information which indicates that insufficient sleep could actually damage our brains in irreversible ways.
Past studies have drawn a link between inadequate sleep and degenerative brain diseases, such as general dementia and Alzheimer’s. Now, new research suggests it could also affect healthy people by negatively impacting their abilities to remember.
Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the study compared the brains of retirement-aged participants with those of subjects who were in their early twenties. Unsurprisingly, they found structural changes that occur naturally over time; however, when they looked closer, they determined that these specific changed indirectly impacted memory function by making it harder for older adults to sleep.
How it Applies to Everyone
Although this recent study may only seem relevant to older people; it should also serve as a warning to people who suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. In the end, the research showed that it was lack of sleep which caused memory problems and not structural changes by themselves. This should concern sleep apneics, because their disorders result in sleep deprivation by causing breathing problems that promote frequent waking.
Getting Help Now
As we age, our abilities to remember inevitably worsen. Unfortunately, if you suffer from sleep apnea, your memory may begin to decline at an early age. What’s more, as numerous studies have shown, because you may not be getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night; you could be at a higher risk of developing deadly diseases.
An effective sleep apnea treatment can help, but only if you reach out for help. To learn how a sleep appliance can eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver today.