Reminiscing about memories and realizing you don’t remember much can be frustrating. Sleep is crucial for memory retention and for recharging your body and brain. Consider sleep as the period when your brain stores all the knowledge and memories it acquired throughout the day. Your information will be in the right place in your brain when you wake up in the morning, and you’ll have plenty of space for more the following day. Unfortunately, these memories might not be correctly saved if you sleep poorly or don’t get enough. Our Albertville sleep apnea dentists at Wall Street Dentistry share on the blog today the impact sleep apnea has on your memory and how not to let memory loss get the best of you.
Multiple sleep phases play crucial roles in the formation of memory. Hence sleep is vital for all types of memory. Unfortunately, all of them can be disrupted by sleep apnea.
- Deep Sleep – Stages three and four of the sleep cycle are typically used to define deep slumber. Your heartbeat slows, your brain waves slow down, and you start to feel like your body isn’t moving. Deep sleep is necessary for the consolidation of “declarative memories,” which are memories you can primarily recall by word or number, such as sports statistics or background knowledge. People who attend school, work, or who must be ready to manage numbers will benefit greatly from getting enough deep sleep.
- REM Sleep – Your body and brain are more active than they are during other phases of sleep during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. As the name suggests, you can move your eyes, but you can also move your limbs sometimes. Nearly all kinds of memories are influenced by REM sleep. Declarative memories are strengthened, as are motor memories and emotional memories.
The Right Kind of Sleep
Most likely, you are aware that having healthy sleep entails more than simply sleeping for eight hours. To benefit fully from sleep, you should allow your body to go through each stage of sleep without interruption. However, our Albertville dentists who treat sleep apnea explain that sleep apnea prevents your body from resting due to the occasional wakefulness that results from having your airway closed. The result prevents you from entering and staying long enough in each stage of sleep, which, among other things, causes memory issues. Therefore, you should get evaluated for sleep apnea if you’ve experienced memory issues along with daytime tiredness.
The Sleep Apnea – Memory Loss Connection
You may be wondering how sleep apnea connects to memory loss. Sleep apnea can alter the brain’s structure or harm neurons, increasing neurotransmitter levels. Memory loss can be the result of several variables, but a lack of oxygen due to obstructive sleep apnea is a primary cause. That means your brain isn’t preserving memories and preparing for a fresh day of knowledge retention.
Sleep Apnea Changes the Brain’s Shape
Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea has substantial mental side effects. Chronic weariness and permanent brain damage might come from the brain being oxygen-deprived all night long. Researchers from UCLA studied the memory-related brain regions of sleep apnea sufferers and healthy individuals. The mamillary bodies of sleep apnea patients were found to be 20% smaller than those of healthy individuals. Our sleep apnea dentists in Albertville share that other research found that individuals with sleep apnea had less white and grey matter in their brains. One particular UCLA research discovered substantial structural changes in the brain’s white matter and fiber routes in the regions that control memory, emotion, and blood pressure. These brain structure alterations point to one of the mechanisms underlying how sleep apnea impairs memory.
Sleep Apnea in Albertville, Alabama
Your ability to sleep soundly during the night without interruption will improve after you begin sleep apnea therapy. Researchers also discovered that after a year of therapy for sleep apnea (with CPAP), the damaged white parts of a patient’s brain were nearly totally repaired, and the grey matter improved within three months. At our Albertville dental office, we can assist with your sleep apnea diagnosis. Then, we’ll work with you to identify a course of therapy that will give you a good night’s sleep and help you avoid memory loss. Please call Wall Street Dentistry at (256) 878-0525 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.