Causes of Interrupted Sleep

Interrupted sleep may lead to dementia, new studies show

Getting a solid night’s sleep is crucial not only for feeling good the next day – there is increasing evidence that it may also protect against dementia.

Three studies by researchers at Wheaton College found significant connections between breathing disorders that interrupt sleep and the accumulation of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. Treating the problems with dental appliances or CPAP machines that force air into airways could help lower the risk of dementia or slow its progress. People with sleep-disordered breathing experience repeated episodes of hypopnea (under breathing) and apnea (not breathing) during sleep.

It occurs when the upper airway closes fully or partially while efforts to breathe continue, and it can wake a person up 50 or 60 times a night interrupting the stages of sleep necessary for a restful night. These studies are among the first to look at the relationship between sleep disruption and biomarkers such as beta-amyloid accumulation that are commonly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Usually the brain clears up deposits of amyloid plaque during sleep, but if you’re only making it to Stage 1 or Stage 2 and then you start choking or snoring or whatever and you wake yourself up and do it again and again, you may be accumulating this bad amyloid in the brain rather than clearing it.

normal airway vs obstructive sleep apnea example

Annotated from the Washington Post.

Dr. Galante, who has been designated a qualified Dentist by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and after taking a 9-day Mini Residency on Snoring and Sleep Apnea in 2016-2017 at Tufts University, is uniquely qualified to diagnosis this serious problem. We can help you not only prevent an issue like Alzheimer’s Disease but also get more energy in your life.