Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Forgetting something off the grocery list. Forgetting about your kid’s practice one evening. Forgetting a doctor’s appointment. Sound familiar? Do you ever feel like your mind is failing you like you never can remember anything? Chalk it up to a busy and stressful life, but a lack of sleep could be to blame for your constant forgetfulness.
Find out from sleep apnea specialist in Poway, Dr. Nicol Cook, how sleep apnea treatment could improve your brain function.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea, a condition that involves a partially or completely blocked airway during sleep, which impedes airflow to the lungs, depriving the body of oxygen during sleep. When sleep apnea occurs, it causes the person to gasp for air or snore loudly. The brain signals the body that it needs to breathe, which means the brain isn’t getting quality sleep as it should. These sleep apnea episodes can happen as many as a hundred times or more per hour! While you may not realize your brain is working overtime, it could show up in how you feel such as constant fatigue, headaches, moody behavior, or forgetfulness.
What does sleep have to do with my memory?
Our bodies require four things for survival: food, water, air, and sleep. Most of us wouldn’t consider depriving or bodies of the first two, food and water, but what about the other two? Why does a lack of air or sleep seem insignificant? Most of us are stretched thin and we probably stay up too late, meaning we don’t clock enough hours of sleep each night. But, for sleep apnea sufferers, they are dealing with something far worse than just sleep loss.
Sleep apnea disturbs the brain by causing it to wake up out of the deepest stage of sleep known as R.E.M. sleep. It’s during this sleep cycle that the brain rests and rejuvenates. While it may seem that you are getting enough sleep each night, you definitely aren’t if you live with untreated sleep apnea. Furthermore, sleep apnea deprives the body of air, which is necessary for our entire body, just like water and food. Ignoring sleep apnea leads to cognitive decline, memory loss, fatigue, headaches, disinterest in once-loved activities, and even increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It’s certainly nothing to mess around with, which is why getting an evaluation and receiving treatment is vital to your health!
How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?
It can be difficult to tell on your own, but loud snoring is a symptom of this disorder. Also, if you fall under any one of the categories below, you could have a sleep-breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea.
- You have to be reminded to do things. If people around you constantly are reminding you to complete tasks or of doctor appointments, or other simple things, then your forgetfulness could be caused by untreated sleep apnea.
- You miss deadlines at work or school. Missing recurrent deadlines at work or school could mean that you aren’t resting well due to sleep apnea. This could have negative ramifications in either setting.
- You forget where you placed things. Can’t find your keys? Where did you put your shoes? Where’s your purse or your wallet? Sound familiar? If you find that you misplace things or forget where you put them, you might have memory loss caused by untreated sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea treatment in Poway
It’s important to get a sleep apnea evaluation so that you can receive treatment as soon as possible. While forgetting where you placed your car keys doesn’t seem like a big deal, forgetting to put on the brakes at a stop sign could end tragically. Don’t ignore your forgetfulness, because it could be a sign of something serious yet easy to treat.
Treating sleep apnea can be easier than you think, and doesn’t always involve having to wear a CPAP mask attached to a noisy machine. To find out more, please contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today, or call (858) 673-0141. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.