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Sleep Apnea Linked to Cognitive Decline

Sleep Apnea Linked to Cognitive Decline
March 01
17:24 2017

(Health Revelations) — The biggest health problems are usually the ones we never knew we even had.

You might be aware — constantly — of arthritis, thanks to that ever-present knee pain.

But that’s nothing next to the damage that could be quietly unfolding inside your brain, and as it’s happening, you don’t feel a thing.

Not at first, anyway.

By the time you notice anything wrong, you could already be slipping into cognitive decline. And by then, it could be too late to stop it.

Now, the latest research shows one warning sign you can look for right now — a symptom that could mark your risk for cognitive decline years before you actually notice yourself slipping.

And it begins… with a YAWN!

You might THINK you’re getting the sleep you need each night. But if you find yourself a little drowsy at all the wrong times… or you really need a cup of coffee after lunch… it could be a sign that your sleep isn’t as good as you think it is.

More specifically, it could be a warning sign of sleep apnea, a condition where you briefly stop breathing in the night, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of times per night.

The new study in Neurology finds that cognitively healthy seniors are much less likely to have apnea or any other nighttime breathing troubles.

Seniors battling cognitive problems, on the other hand, are more likely to have apnea.

The study doesn’t prove that apnea causes cognitive decline, but it certainly finds a link — and it fits in with basic human biology.

Your brain is only 2 percent of your body weight — maybe less — but it sucks up as much as 25 percent of the oxygen flowing in your blood.

You could hold your breath briefly right now and it won’t matter much. But if it happens repeatedly — as it does with apnea — you’ll have less oxygen to go around inside your body.

And that means less oxygen for your brain.

Over a few nights, it might not do any lasting damage.

But over years, it could slowly turn down the power where you need it most and set the stage for cognitive decline.

So, watch for those yawns. If you’re tired when you shouldn’t be, or wake up groggy after what should’ve been a full night of sleep, you could have apnea.

Other common warning signs include headaches and sore throats, especially in the morning.

A doctor can confirm it with a night in a sleep lab. But if you even suspect you have the condition, there’s an easy solution: Lose some weight.

Apnea is almost always caused by excess weight, and is often eased or even cured by dropping a few pounds.


Sleep apnea linked to cognitive decline

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