Obstructive sleep apnea can cause dangerous complications to one’s health. This disorder has been linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Research suggests it may change the shape of your brain. Here are four ways that sleep apnea can damage brain function and what you can do about it.
Sleep apnea disrupts the restorative rest the brain needs to function well. People who suffer with this condition wake up multiple times throughout the night, which interferes with the natural stages of sleep. Frequent sleep interruptions and deprivation can lead to memory loss.
Decreased Reasoning Skills
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for learning information and recall. Lack of sleep can lead to problems with concentration and being able to pay attention. This can affect your creativity and problem-solving skills during work or school.
Slower Reaction Times
The effect of sleep apnea on the brain can be similar to the effects of drinking alcohol. Scientific studies have found that sleep deprivation can create slow reaction times that are similar to those of legally drunk drivers. This fatigue can be especially dangerous for people who operate heavy machinery or drive for a living.
Mood Regulation Difficulties
Sleep apnea can lower the production of a chemical in the brain responsible for mood regulation. It can also increase glutamate levels, which can escalate body stress, irritability and mood swings. This can lead to higher risks for anxiety and depression.
Reverse Damaging Effects with Sleep Apnea Treatment
With proper treatment, the negative effects of obstructive sleep apnea can be stopped and reversed. At Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center, we offer oral appliance therapy to promote a clear airway during sleep and reduce symptoms. This therapy can be combined with lifestyle and diet changes to achieve optimal health. If you are concerned about your sleep quality, call today to receive a complimentary consultation.
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