Apart from exercise and healthy eating, adequate and quality sleep is essential for a healthy life. Quality sleep has contributed to numerous physical benefits, according to recent research. For example, adequate sleep led to improved focus, high athleticism, and enhanced immunity.
The prevalence of sleep disorders today’s quite alarming. These disorders disrupt your sleeping patterns, mental and emotional states.
Sleep disorders have been highly associated with cognitive impairments by experts. Experiencing symptoms of either leads to the severity of symptoms of the latter. Dementia, the reduced efficiency in cognitive functions, affects the quality of your life. Alzheimer’s is the most rampant type of dementia in society.
Poor Sleep, as a Dementia Risk Factor
Irregular sleeping habits can highly put you at risk of developing dementia. As a victim of dementia, you are likely to observe sleeping disorder symptoms. These symptoms happen immediately before developing cognitive impairment.
For instance, Sleep apnea is one of the common disorders that can aggravate your dementia. The condition symptoms include interrupted breathing periods during sleep. Soft tissues block the respiratory tract leading to difficulty in breathing.
Sleep apnea highly limits your body organ’s access to oxygen. Your brain cells, which constantly need oxygen, are highly affected in the process. As a result, constant gasps for air during the night limit the possibility of quality sleep.
Your brain suffers, which leads to difficulty in decision-making and low focus levels. Dementia then develops, and other severe brain issues may follow. Motor coordination and reactions are also affected, making you slower.
Insomnia refers to your inability to sleep during the night. Studies have suggested that your neural connections change when the disorder persists. The brain cells then die in the process as the body is not adequately resting.
Research proves that you are twice likely to develop dementia if you have insomnia. The study guide also confirmed a 30% increased chance of dementia in older people.
Sleep deprivation also limits the removal of beta-amyloid proteins that cause dementia development. During the day, your brain synthesizes the proteins and eliminates them during sleep. The beta-amyloid protein build-up causes dementia and is a highly accepted notion by experts.
How Dementia Affects Sleep
Dementia can highly affect your circadian rhythm and alter your sleeping patterns. The changes in physiological processes lead to poor quality sleep. These changes then increase your chances of developing sleep disorders.
Your internal body clock is also affected negatively upon developing dementia. The suprachiasmatic nucleus, which resides in the brain, responds to light variations. Significant damage of the clock cells and decreased response to stimuli leads to a lack of sleep.
The internal body clock thus leads to insomnia at night and sleepy moods in the day.
Sleep stages also require a specific time to obtain optimum refreshment. Developing dementia might alter stage duration and lead to poor sleep.
Four stages in the sleep process include:
- Two light sleep stages
- Slow-wave sleep
- dream sleep stage (REM stage)
The rapid eye movement stage(REM stage) and the slow-wave sleep stage are deep sleep stages. Deep sleep stages are vital to ensure that your body and mind refresh for better performance. Dementia leads to a shorter duration in these vital stages and longer in the light sleep stages. As a result, your body does not refresh, affecting physical and psychological performance.
Spotting Sleep Disorders
As an adult of 26 to 64 years of age, experts recommend at least 7 hours of sleep. Difficulties in sleeping for the recommended duration can indicate a sleep disorder. Interrupted sleep sessions can also indicate a sleeping disorder. Irregular sleeping patterns can also indicate a disorder.
Dealing With Sleep Disorders
Seeking Health Assistance
Sleep apnea disorder is treatable, and you can access interventions in healthcare facilities. Visiting a sleep apnea snoring dentist helps you gain insight into effective healthcare options. The sleep apnea snoring dentist recommends surgeries or appliances which prevent air blockage.
Improving your Mental Health
Stress and depression are common factors that may disrupt your healthy sleep. Seeking psychological interventions is crucial to help monitor your mental health. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can also aid in alleviating mental distress. Dealing with your mental issues enhances quality sleep.
Cognitive and sleep disorders interrelate and indicate the possible development of each other. Fortunately, dementia affects older people, and sleeping disorders are preventable and treatable. As an individual, it is crucial to take action and deal with sleeping disorders to avoid dementia.