Sleep apnea is a medical condition where the airway becomes blocked when one is asleep. It partially or completely stops airflow, resulting in uncomfortable or disrupted sleep. Have you ever wondered and asked, “Is sleep apnea a danger to your well being?” Though it is a serious condition, a lot of people do not realize in time that they suffer from apnea. One tends to feel fatigued in the morning despite sleeping early. Sleep apnea is known for its adverse effect on the heart.
It can result in high blood pressure, development of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea effects on the brain are quite alarming as well.
Here are the effects of sleep apnea on the brain.
- Sleep Apnea And Migraines
In most cases before, migraines were often treated without finding the root cause. However, research has found migraines caused by sleep apnea are common than once believed! In most cases, the migraines occur at night when one is asleep. The brain uses a lot of oxygen and one way the brain responds to a shortage of fresh air is with a deep aural sensation of a painful migraine. Once the sleep apnea is treated, the migraines disappear.
- Sleep Apnea And Memory Loss
It may come as a surprise when you find out memory loss and sleep apnea go hand in hand. People with breathing problems or suffering from sleep apnea have problems converting short term information into long term memories. When one wakes up multiple times in an hour throughout the night, the brain develops a disorder which leads to distorted memory formation causing forgetfulness.
- Sleep Apnea And The Shape Of The Brain
The health effects of sleep apnea can be more serious than temporary dizziness. When the airflow is cut, the brain is starved of oxygen. The lack of oxygen paired with constant migraines and fatigue results in measurable physical damage on the brain. A research conducted by UCLA found adults suffering from sleep apnea had 20% smaller bodies than those of untroubled counterparts. Progressive brain damage and poor quality sleep are the main causes of poor memory, decreased cognitive functioning, irritability, and cardiovascular conditions.
It is important to understand what sleep and air deprivation can do to the human body especially the brain when one sleeps. This will drive home the point on how crucial those who suffer from sleep apnea need to seek medical assistance because when diagnosed early, it is reversible.