Many know what Alzheimer’s and dementia are, but what about cognitive impairment? While cognitive impairment is not a widely used term, understanding what it means is important to comprehending the spectrum under which Alzheimer’s and dementia are housed.
As defined by the CDC, cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Cognitive impairment is not just a disability experienced by those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it doesn’t just impact the elderly. This life-altering condition is also experienced by those who’ve had a stroke, a traumatic brain injury, and/or live with a developmental disability.
As far back as February 2011, the CDC has been warning Americans about the dangers of cognitive impairment, stating that the number of people affected by the condition will place significant stress on our healthcare system. An estimated 16 million people were living with cognitive impairment at the time of the report.
Now, in 2021, researchers have uncovered an important connection between cognitive impairment and sleep, a discovery that may help with the prevention of this far-too-often misunderstood condition.
Traditionally, naps have been a bit of a controversial topic in the realm of sleep. While a 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day can enhance productivity, naps can also hurt nighttime sleep when taken too early in the day or too close to bedtime.
A recent study on sleep deprivation in low-income workers in India, however, found that naps have an interesting effect on productivity when an individual is sleep-deprived.
Before we dive into the study, though, let’s start with an overview of midday napping.
While earworms are (thankfully) not real worms, they’re still a nuisance. Oh, what are earworms? Well, they are those few song lyrics that play over and over in your head while you lay in bed—and they don’t just happen when we’re awake. As one researcher learned from personal experience, they can even happen while we’re sleeping!
A new observational study found that physical activity and sleep quality both play roles in health outcomes. This information is particularly important for those who do suffer from poor sleep, as physical activity not only improves sleep but can improve the overall health of those who struggle with sleep disorders.
The health consequences of untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and other sleep disorders are vast. Heart conditions, diabetes, obesity, mental health concerns, and other short- and long-term associated conditions are directly linked to these disorders. And, the more research that’s done on sleep disorders, the more troubling the findings become.
While it’s well known that sleep disorders can become life-threatening, what’s not often discussed is that sleep disorders can fatally injure you in other, non-health related ways. In fact, there are three common sleep disorders that are directly linked to car crashes and other unintentional fatal injuries.
Here’s what we know about your increased chances of being in a motor vehicle accident, or an incident that results in a fatal injury, if you suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, and/or shift work sleep disorder. While perhaps shocking at first glance, the below research is important to urge anyone with these conditions to seek, and stick with, treatment.
Pets are a treasured part of many individual’s lives. Not only do they provide comforting companionship, but a Harris poll revealed that 95% of pet owners consider their pet to be a true member of their family.
After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets have been proven to enhance the lives of their owners. These benefits include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower triglyceride levels, reduced feelings of loneliness, more opportunities to exercise outdoors, and more chances to socialize.
With all of these positive benefits, it may be no wonder that many people co-sleep (or allow their pets to sleep on their bed). In fact, nearly half of all dog owners and 62% of cat owners co-sleep with their furry friend. But there are discussions surrounding questions about whether or not co-sleeping with a pet is good or bad for your health. Let’s break it down.
There are many unknowns about the exact implications of COVID-19. While at the forefront, we’ve seen researchers and scientists hard at work finding a viable and reliable vaccine, what hasn’t been widely publicized are the teams attempting to understand the current and future implications of Coronavirus.
Now with over a year under our belts of experiencing a decade-defining pandemic, researchers are able to provide us with more and more findings on the extent of COVID-19’s impact. How has it impacted us economically? Socially? Physically?
A recent study, published just this past April, shines a light on a subject particularly important to us here at Sleep Better Georgia: the connection between obstructive sleep apnea and COVID-19. Let’s discuss its findings and what they mean for you.
Warmer weather has arrived! With it comes the prospect of spending more time outdoors. While many outdoor enthusiasts simply enjoy feeling close to nature, they may or may not also be aware of the incredible health benefits of camping—including improved sleep.
Exactly how does sleeping outdoors improve sleep quality? The answer is the body’s internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm.
Losing a loved one is difficult. The grief that’s experienced directly after a loss can feel overwhelming, and at times unbearable. There isn’t a “normal” or “typical” way to grieve—everyone grieves in a way that’s particular to their personality and connection to the loved one lost; but at times, grief transforms into something much more complex and life-altering.
This transformation is called complicated grief. Complicated grief lasts long-term and can cause emotional and relational difficulties due to a severe breakdown in the processing of the grief and consequential mental distress. As found in a 2009 study, “Bereaved individuals with complicated grief find themselves in a repetitive loop of intense yearning and longing that becomes the major focus of their lives, albeit accompanied by inevitable sadness, frustration, and anxiety.” Complicated grief impacts 10% of bereaved people.
It’s been long understood that sleep is needed for our brains to properly function. It helps us store memories, and supports our ability to learn, and maintains our emotional competency. But how exactly does the connection between sleep and our brains, particularly memory storing, association, and the feelings surrounding our memories, work? Could sleep apnea interfere with this?