San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and moody all of the time. Plus, studies now relate poor sleep quality to serious health problems like an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. But, there’s another symptom that many people don’t realize is connected to their sleep or lack thereof…..forgetfulness. You forgot where you left your keys. You forgot about your kid’s soccer practice. You missed an important deadline at work. Sound familiar?
A lot of people chalk up their forgetfulness to age, assuming it’s par for the course. But, studies now link forgetfulness to a lack of quality sleep.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found a link between not getting enough quality sleep with the development of Alzheimer’s dementia. You see, quality sleep is a crucial part of our brain’s reset. Deep sleep allows the mind a chance to recharge and store memories.
Alzheimer patients have a protein in the brain called beta-amyloid – a plaque-like substance that causes inflammation between the brain’s nerve cells. This plaque buildup in the brain affects long-term memory, which can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. As more and more beta-amyloid proteins buildup, brain cells die. While there still is a lot to be understood and discovered in preventing, treating, and curing Alzheimer’s, one thing we do know is that sleep has a lot to do with it all.
For starters, make sure that you are getting enough quality sleep. Aren’t sure? It can be difficult to tell how good your sleep quality is, especially if you seem to get enough hours of sleep each night. But, if you consistently feel fatigued each day, feel moody a lot of the time, or even have feelings of depression, you could have a sleep-breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Another major warning sign of OSA is snoring. You may not be aware of your snoring habit, but anyone who shares a bedroom with you will know if you snore. And, if they haven’t said anything to you about it, ask.
Snoring is caused by soft tissue restricting airflow. You wouldn’t deprive your body of food or water, at least not for too long, so why would you deprive it of air? That’s exactly what you’re doing when you are ignoring the fact that you snore. Snoring isn’t natural, and it should be treated. Snoring means that your body isn’t getting enough air. The brain reacts by waking up out of a deep sleep to signal the body to continue breathing. You probably aren’t aware of these “awakenings,” but it will leave you feeling tired all of the time.
I know I snore, but I don’t want to use a CPAP machine
That’s ok! A CPAP machine isn’t the only effective way of managing snoring. In fact, many CPAP users discontinue treatment after only a few months, citing that the machine was too annoying to use. Thankfully, Glen Park Dental offers an alternative treatment for snoring. A mandibular advancement device is a custom made oral appliance that is designed to work for each individual’s specific needs. The goal is to slightly reposition the lower jaw so that it relieves the airway restriction, and thus curbs any snoring.
Once your snoring and sleep apnea are under control, you will start to sleep better, and any sleep-related memory loss should improve.
Even the dentist can help treat your sleep apnea without the use of a CPAP, that noisy breathing machine you have probably heard about. Instead, a custom-made oral appliance can help hold the jaw in proper alignment to facilitate airflow while sleeping. It’s really that simple – no strings attached, literally. The oral appliance is cord-free, noise-free, and comfortable.
So, if you are looking for an alternative sleep apnea treatment other than the CPAP, or want to find out about natural methods to stop snoring, contact Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500. We provide complete oral care to patients in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco.