Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

A study comparing children 7 to 11 years old with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally found significant reductions of gray matter — brain cells crucial to most cognitive tasks — in several regions of the brains of children with sleep apnea. The finding points to connections between this common sleep disturbance and the loss of neurons or delayed neuronal growth in the developing brain. Source

Link between sleep, cognitive impairment in the elderly

Daytime sleepiness is very common in the elderly with prevalence rates of up to 50 percent. Caused by sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), a disruption of normal breathing during sleep, these cause recurrent awakenings and subsequent excessive daytime sleepiness. Now a researcher stresses that it is time for physicians to consider the association between these sleep conditions and cognitive impairment in the elderly. Source

Sleep apnea immediately compromises blood pressure

A single bout of sleep apnea impacts the human body’s ability to regulate blood pressure, say researchers. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The condition can result in frequent periods of decreased oxygen levels in the body, known as intermittent hypoxia. Source

Alcoholism worsens insomnia, but there is hope

Individuals with alcohol dependence (AD) often have sleep-related disorders such as insomnia, circadian-rhythm sleep disorders, breathing-related sleep disorders, movement disorders, and parasomnias such as sleep-related eating disorder, sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep paralysis, and REM sleep behavior disorder. A new review examines the various aspects of insomnia associated with AD. Source