A study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference showed that poor sleep was linked to an increased risk for cognitive decline. Poor sleep included sleeping too little, too much and having disrupted sleep from a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea.
The data came from the Nurses’ Health Study which has 15,000 participants. It showed that women who slept 5 hours or less each night or slept 9 hours or more increased their risk for brain problems later in life. Women who slept an average of 7 hours per night did not have this increased risk.
“This is what I call the ‘sweet spot of sleep’” said Dr. Constantine Lyketsos. “It’s all about maintaining good sleep hygiene, in the same way you would maintain your body hygiene.”
Another study presented at the conference showed that women with sleep disordered breathing like sleep apnea had a significantly higher risk for heart attack and dementia. Dr. Kristina Yaffe said “In the past, it’s been a chicken and egg thing. Did the dementia lead to sleep problems or did sleep problems lead to dementia? That was the overarching question in our study.” She continued “We wondered: is it that these people just aren’t getting resk? Or is it actually the decreased oxygen level?” Her study shows that the decreased oxygen levels seem to be the cause of the increased dementia and heart disease.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be effectively treated. The most common treatment is CPAP but a great many patients cannot tolerate sleeping with the device. Oral appliance therapy is another highly effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and is available from sleep medicine dentist Dr. Mark Levy.
Please contact Dr. Mark Levy in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your consultation to see if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy. Treating obstructive sleep apnea is necessary to maintain your health and well-being for the future.