Glen Burnie Dentist | The Link Between Sleep and Dementia

21061 Dentist

The correlation between quality of sleep and the onset of dementia has been the recent focus of several studies. One in three Americans do not get enough sleep according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you do not get enough sleep, your body doesn’t go through enough REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. This is problematic because REM sleep is a restorative part of the sleep cycle.

How REM Sleep Relates to Dementia

People who get less REM sleep could be at a higher risk of developing dementia according to a recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology. Because REM sleep is the part of the sleep cycle that regulates brain restoration, not getting a sufficient amount hinders the restoration. This can contribute to many health problems.

Sleep Apnea’s Impact

Sleep apnea may be one reason why some individuals fail to get enough restorative deep sleep. Researchers have found that beta-amyloid accumulates faster in subjects with sleep-disordered breathing than subjects without one. Beta-amyloid is a plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer patients that accumulates if a lack of REM sleep occurs. Because sleep apnea can cause you to have distorted breathing, it can interrupt REM sleep and allow the beta-amyloids to progress faster in the brain.

The protein that is responsible for Alzheimer’s, amyloid, is produced throughout the day. However, during sleep, your brain is able to complete a restorative process. This occurs during the REM stage and studies have shown that sleep apnea can speed up the process of amyloid buildup. Sleep apnea can prevent you from having the REM sleep needed for the brain to regulate the restoration process.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Have you been told you snore loudly? Do you frequently wake up feeling like you are choking or struggling to breathe? These are potential indicators of sleep apnea. Additionally, frequent headaches after you wake up and a chronic feeling of tiredness may also point to sleep apnea. While not everyone with these symptoms has sleep apnea, it is important to speak to your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

Our brains need sleep. Deep REM sleep allows the brain to decrease levels of the proteins responsible for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, sleep apnea may be preventing you from achieving a night of restful sleep. Our team offers sleep apnea consultations.

To schedule your consultation, please contact our team.

7711 Quarterfield Rd., Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
(410) 760-4445