The importance of sleep has never been so apparent as shown by a recent study that stated “older women who suffer from sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to develop dementia as those who don’t.”
Just to review, sleep apnea is a disorder in which people have one or more pauses in breathing while you sleep. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and they often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic ongoing condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow. Since your body is continually taken out of the regenerate state of sleep, it’s no wonder that it would have long term effects on how your body functions.
Prevention is ideal and if you happen to be afflicted by any sleep problems, we highly encourage you to consult your doctor. However, there’s also the chance that you just don’t get that much sleep. While you might be able to sleep that whole way through, lack of sleep can have its own effects, including irritability, headaches, sore muscles, depression and obesity among a long list of symptoms.
As a caregiver, if you find yourself in the position where you are simply overwhelmed to the point of not sleeping when you should, please reach out to family or friends for help. If that’s not an option, respite care can help alleviate the pressure of not getting certain things done during the day… and in turn, let you sleep at night. There are many resources available for respite relief, please give us a call and we can discuss some of those options.