Sleep is essential for boosting your brain power, especially when it comes to memory retention. Not only are you able to store away any important facts and new pieces of information you picked up during the day while your eyes are closed, but you’re also able to hold on to essential memories, like your child’s birthday or your anniversary date, for years to come.
But sleep and memory can be a double-edged sword. Just as plenty of sleep can help your memory perform at its best, poor-quality sleep can actually hurt your recollections, and can result in an increased likelihood of developing cognitive conditions, including and especially dementia.
So if you want to ensure your brain functions at peak performance for the long haul, especially when it comes to memory retention and combatting your risk for dementia, look out for these habits or conditions that can hurt your cognitive health.
7-9 hours of sleep is healthy, but if you go too much over this amount, it could inevitably backfire.
A recent study has found that people who sleep for more than nine hours every night have an increased risk of both Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is compared to those individuals who sleep the recommended 8 hours per night.
So feel free to sleep in only rarely, but don’t overindulge on a long-term basis.
Sleep interruptions can range from a snoring partner to neighborhood noise. But if you are subject to regular distractions and interruptions in your sleep, it could lead to trouble.
Research has found alarming evidence for people who have restless and poor quality sleep, and who wake up throughout the night due to interruptions. They have a higher risk of cognitive decline than those who sleep soundly.
So if you keep waking up due to outside factors, try noise cancelling headphones to drone out the outside activity. Most of all, encourage a snoring partner to seek testing for obstructive sleep apnea – a common culprit and cause of loud snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to a decline in your cognitive abilities in both the short term, and the long term.
Because OSA interferes with your brain’s normal activity at night, you’ll likely feel forgetful, anxious, and all-around foggy during the day.
Worse yet, without treatment, OSA has been shown to promote a much higher risk of cognitive conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So if you think you may have sleep apnea, get an at-home diagnosis test, see a sleep specialist, and get treatment as soon as possible. Sleep apnea does not go away on its own! And the risk for health issues – including dementia – tends to increase the longer that it is ignored.
A good night’s sleep can do a world of good for your mind, as well as your body. So pay attention to possible issues with the quality of your rest. And seek help if you think there may be an issue, like obstructive sleep apnea. Get a solid routine of 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This way your brain – and your memory – will stay clear and well-functioning for days, weeks, years, and even decades.
Contact us if you or a loved wake up and remain groggy each day. It could be sleep apnea. We can help you get back to great sleep and good health fast!