More Sleep Reduces Alzheimer's Risk

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012, 8:48 pm

Poor sleep can cause more problems than just leaving you grouchy the next morning. Having disrupted sleep over the long term seems to be associated with the type of amyloid plaque buildup in the brain that we see in Alzheimer’s patients according to researchers at the University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

It seems that people sleep soundly all night long were five times less likely to have the amyloid plaque buildup than people who woke up frequently. People who had a hard time falling asleep also have a greater chance of having these “markers” of Alzheimer’s. The researchers are unsure about the cause and effect of the relationship and more studies will be needed to determine whether the poor quality sleep is causing the plaque buildup or if the amyloid plaque is causing the sleep disruption.

Until those facts are known we should all try to get the best quality sleep we can. If your sleep is disrupted by a bed partner who snores loudly throughout the night you already know you aren’t getting the rest you need. Snoring can be a sign of a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If your significant other sometimes gasps for air during sleep and feels sleepy during the day he or she may suffer from OSA. Untreated OSA has been linked to heart disease, stroke, weight gain and increased risk of accidents. CPAP is the usual treatment but many patients find sleeping with the masks and hoses impossible. Oral appliance therapy puts an end to the snoring and allows the airway to remain open all night, keeping the OSA patient breathing.

Treating OSA using an oral appliance is convenient and effective. To find out more about sleep breathing disorders and about oral appliance therapy for snoring and OSA please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-2581.


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Category: Dental Sleep Medicine

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