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The Importance of Sleep (Now and Later)
The importance of sleep is immeasurable. From productive days, to long-term health, the ripple affects of quality sleep are endless. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep at night your concentration and focus takes a hit the next day? Almost like you’re in a daze or fog.
Sleep affects your memory, concentration, and focus. In fact, when we think about the purpose of sleep this comes into play. In evolutionary terms, sleep doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why would we make ourselves vulnerable to predators during this time? If we are going to make ourselves vulnerable, it must be for a VERY good reason. There are several theories out there that attempt to answer the importance of sleep (now and later).
Why Sleep is Important
Brain Plasticity Theory refers to the concept that the brain takes time to “remodel” while we sleep. Our brains reorganize all of our memories and information from the previous day so that we can properly retrieve it when we wake up for the new day. This concept might be familiar if you have heard about recent Alzheimer’s research.
This preliminary study has started a bigger discussion to continue to learn, but one thing is for certain. Sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s have a connection. It is thought that the lack of REM sleep and loss of oxygen during apnea events accelerates the process that creates a protein buildup in our brains, that then leads to Alzheimer’s. This protein is commonly referred to as “plaque”.
Turns out, sleep has a purpose, and it’s vitally important that we sleep before the twilight of our years and have to worry about the onset of Alzheimer’s. This plaque can build up over time, and if we don’t get the necessary sleep it prevents our body from doing its job. Experts say the relationship indicates that treating sleep apnea could slow the progression for those in the early stages of the as-yet-incurable disease.
If you or someone you know is experiencing signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, consult a sleep professional at once. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of health concerns. Don’t worry, CPAP is not the only therapy option. Contact us to learn more about oral appliance therapy today.