We all know that foggy feeling that accompanies a poor night's sleep. If this is an occasional occurrence for you, there's probably not cause for concern. But if you regularly wake up groggy, you need to investigate. Recent research indicates that there may be a connection between certain sleep disorders and a disease that many of us are concerned about as we age.
While the tremendous amount of research that's been done on cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's in recent years has yet to discover a cure, we do have a greater understanding of contributors to the disease. In particular, we now know that people who have a genetic allele called apolipoprotein-4 (APOE-4 for short) are more susceptible to cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's.
Now new research indicates that, unfortunately for the approximately 20% of the population with the APOE-4 allele, Alzheimer's isn't the only disorder they're at risk of. They're also susceptible to sleep-disordered breathing. And this can negatively affect cognition, making things even worse.
To further investigate the connection between sleep and cognitive disorders, researchers looked at data from over 1,700 participants. The subjects participated in sleep studies, answered questions about their sleep, and took cognition tests. The researchers evaluated their breathing issues according to the apnea-hypopnea index. They assessed participants as having sleep-disordered breathing if they had more than 15 stopped or shallow breaths per hour and as having sleep apnea syndrome if they had more than 5 such breaths.
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Not surprisingly, they found links among daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea syndrome, slower cognitive processing speed, poorer attention, and poorer memory. And these links were strongest in the participants who had the APOE-4 allele.
The researchers believe that treating sleep-related breathing issues could help reduce risk of cognitive issues. This is particularly true for people who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's because of the presence of the APOE-4 allele.
If you're waking up tired even after what seems like sufficient sleep, you may need to have your breathing evaluated through a sleep study.
If you don't have a breathing disorder, but still aren't getting adequate sleep, your cognitive function is also at risk. Advanced Sleep Formula can help, whether you're struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep. It contains melatonin to regulate your sleep cycles, 5-HTP to improve sleep quality, and several other vitamins and nutrients to reduce anxiety and help your brain stay calm. Getting adequate rest is vital to good health. Don't suffer through night after night of restlessness. Your body and your mind will thank you for getting help when you need it.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD