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The importance of good quality sleep

A new study has linked good amounts of sleep to lower risks for dementia and early death.

There is nothing better than a good night’s rest, but there’s more to quality sleep than feeling good. Studies have revealed that optimal sleep actually lowers the risk of dementia and early death. Read on to find out more about the findings.

What did the study look at?

The study, which was conducted in Japan and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at a group of adults over the age of 60 years old. Of the 1517 participants who were studied for 10 years, 294 developed dementia and 282 died. The researchers found that rates of dementia and mortality were greater in those individuals who slept for less than five hours and more than ten hours a day, compared with those who slept between five and seven hours a night. The study also found, however, that those who had short sleep durations but had high levels of physical activity were not at greater risk of dementia and death.

What do the findings suggest?

The researchers reported that the findings of the study suggest that maintaining an appropriate sleep duration, combined with certain lifestyle behaviors like regular exercise, may be an effective means of preventing dementia and early death. Getting an optimal amount of good quality sleep is hugely beneficial for overall health.

Do you get enough sleep?

If you wake up feeling tired and irritable even after a night’s sleep, it is possible that you have a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. Some of the most common symptoms of the disorder include loud snoring, episodes throughout the night in which you temporarily stop breathing, the need to gasp for air while you sleep, morning headaches, daytime drowsiness, and difficulty focusing during the day.

The condition occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax, narrowing the airway and preventing adequate air from entering. When there is insufficient air entering the airway, blood oxygen levels lower and the brain forces you to temporarily wake up so that the airway reopens. This wakening is so brief, however, that you most likely won’t even be aware of it. This pattern of brief awakening can repeat numerous times throughout the night, often up to 30 or more times, which will greatly affect your ability to achieve restorative sleep.

What issues can sleep apnea cause?

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a number of complications, including serious daytime fatigue. When you wake up repeatedly throughout the night, the quality of your sleep is reduced and it is likely that you will wake up feeling tired. The condition can also lead to a number of other health complications, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes, and certain liver problems.

What can I do about it?

If you suspect that you may not be getting enough good quality sleep, we recommend that you come in and see us for a consultation. The team at Elite Dental of Staten Island understands the importance of treating airway conditions in order to promote overall wellness.

We offer a wide range of treatments, including behavior modification techniques, oral appliance therapy, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), and a number of surgical procedures. To find out more about these treatments, please take a look at our airway treatment page.

To arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.