Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

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Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2020 at 8:49 pm    

We already know that sleep is vital to combating a number of maladies such as stress, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and high blood pressure. And we know that sleep deprivation can increase an individual’s risk of suffering from a stroke, heart disease, and more. But recently, scientists have uncovered an alarming link between sleep deprivation and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

A recent study published in Neurology suggests that people who do not get deep, healthy sleep are more susceptible to brain cell death. Sleep apnea contributes to a decline of oxygen levels in your blood as you sleep, which can contribute to brain cell death. As a result of this atrophy of the brain, dementia may become more likely to develop.

A good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do for long-term brain health, according to the Sleep Foundation. A full night of healthy, uninterrupted sleep lets your brain rest and recharge and could prevent cognitive degradation that comes with dementia. But experts warn against treating yourself to too much good sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, people who get more than nine hours of sleep each night are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those who get between six and nine. For people older than 65, the recommended amount of sleep each night is no more than eight hours.

One necessary component of a healthy sleep schedule is being in a quiet environment. If you are awoken frequently by a snoring partner – or your own snoring – you may be at a higher risk of falling victim to cognitive degradation. If snoring is a problem, you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea. Some warning signs to look out for are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headaches upon waking up
  • Moments where you stop breathing during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Irritability

Improve Your Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

If you are struggling to get through a night without waking up or gasping for air, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Don’t wait to get help until it is too late. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy are ready to help diagnose and treat your sleep disorder. Call us at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


What Is Parasomnia?

Posted on Monday, October 26th, 2020 at 3:25 pm    

Parasomnia describes any unusual activity that happens right before you sleep, during sleep, and in the moments between sleep and wakefulness. According to the Sleep Foundation, parasomnia often affects children more than adults, though it can affect people of all ages. Parasomnias can describe a number of unusual sleep anomalies, including sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and bedwetting, just to name a few.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes three distinct groups of parasomnia: NREM-related, REM-related, and “other.” REM stands for rapid eye movement.

The first group is non-rapid eye movement-related. Non-rapid eye movement sleep constitutes the first 90 or so minutes after you fall asleep. Sleep specialists call this “shallow” sleep. People who experience parasomnias in this stage of sleep will have difficulty remembering the events of their episodes. According to the Sleep Foundation, NREM-related parasomnias include:

  • Confusional arousals
  • Sleepwalking
  • Night or sleep terrors
  • Sexual abnormal behaviors
  • Sleep-related disordered eating habits

The second group is rapid eye movement sleep-related. This REM stage of sleep occurs immediately after the NREM stages of sleep. REM sleep will last about 90 minutes, then your sleep will rotate back to NREM, then REM, and so on. During REM, your eyes move rapidly while closed, breathing accelerates, and heart rate and blood pressure will increase. Parasomnias of REM sleep include:

  • Recurring sleep paralysis
  • REM sleep behavior disorder (RSBD)
  • Nightmare disorder

The final group is simply called “other,” as it describes parasomnias that happen between sleeping and wakefulness. They might include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Hallucinations that persist for several minutes after the person awakes
  • “Exploding head syndrome,” when a person hears a loud noise like an explosion in their head and may see a bright light upon waking, though it is imagined

If you are experiencing any of the events listed above, it is important that you make an appointment with your doctor or a sleep specialist. Parasomnias could be signs of an underlying health issue, such as anxiety, PTSD, or a complication with prescribed medicine.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Parasomnias could be a sign of a more serious sleep problem, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable solutions. Call us today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule a free consultation online.


Teens Lack Sleep Routine During the Pandemic

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 12:13 am    

Pandemic sleep issues for teens

Teenagers are not known for their healthy sleep schedules. But a global pandemic has heightened stress levels, altered learning environments, and challenged teenagers on a social level, as well. These factors combine to make for unhealthy sleep schedules that could leave your teen awake until the early morning hours and asleep until the afternoon. Not only does this irregular sleep schedule throw off their daily routine, it can have an effect on their overall health.

Experts generally agree that teenagers need around 9 hours of sleep each night to function optimally. However, melatonin, a hormone released by the body to help you fall asleep, isn’t released in teenaged bodies until later in the night. This makes it harder for teens to fall asleep at an earlier hour. With demanding schedules full of classes, after-school programs, sports, music lessons, and homework, teenagers could be up until very late at night getting everything done. Even if a teenager has the chance to get in bed early, their brains may not let them fall asleep for a couple of hours.

When your teenager doesn’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night, this can throw off their routines and even jeopardize their health. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a weakened immune system and higher levels of stress, which could lead to conditions such as depression and heart disease.

Support a Healthy Sleep Routine

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to support your immune system any way you can, including eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep.

Experts recommend the following tips to help your teenager get a healthy amount of sleep:

  • Do not bring electronics such as phones and laptops into bed at night.
  • Get plenty of natural light during the day to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening.
  • Limit daytime naps to 20 minutes.
  • Read a book, drink warm tea, or take a warm shower before bed.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Silent Night Therapy

Teenagers need a lot of healthy sleep each night to wake up ready for the next day, and so do adults. If you’re having trouble getting restful sleep and are waking up exhausted, then you might have a sleep disorder. The sleep specialists at Silent Night Therapy can diagnose your problems and find reliable sleep solutions. Call our office today at (631) 983-2463 or schedule your free consultation online.