Breathing problems associated with sleep apnea may be doing more than affecting the quality of your sleep and making you tired. It may literally cause brain damage.
You’ve probably heard about side effects of sleep apnea like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc…but sleep disordered breathing can take just as much of a toll on the brain as it does on the heart.
A recent study found a link between abnormal breathing patterns during sleep – like heavy snoring and apnea – and cognitive decline at an earlier age than normal. Mild cognitive impairment is when your memory is affected to the point that it is noticeable to others, but not enough to deal with daily functioning. People with mild cognitive impairment exhibit some forgetfulness or amnesia of recent events. They often need to write notes to remind themselves to do things that they would otherwise forget.
Sleep Apnea actually changes the shape of your brain. The mental symptoms of sleep apnea are more serious than the temporary grogginess caused by drowsiness. During an apnea (Greek for “without breath”) the person actually stops breathing, which starves the brain of oxygen. This duress, paired with chronic fatigue, can cause physical, measurable brain damage.
Sleep apnea can also change how the brain “works”, and more so how well it works. However, damage from poor sleep or sleep apnea is reversible!
Has your spouse mentioned that you snore at night? Are you having difficulty sleeping?
Are you tired during the day?
If you or a loved one is struggling with adequate sleep and it is harming the ability to think, we can help. If any of this sounds like you or a loved one, please contact us today via the short form below or call us at (913) 203-4040.