HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessThis could be the reason you're so sleep deprived, according to study

This could be the reason you’re so sleep deprived, according to study

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It’s well known that getting enough sleep is important for staying healthy, but several studies show that not getting enough sleep may increase the risk of heart problems and even death.

According to some studies, people with obstructive sleep apnea, the most prevalent type of sleep apnea that causes sleep deprivation, are also more likely to develop dementia and experience memory loss, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

In this new study, the researchers sought to determine the root cause of sleep apnea.

The study was conducted by Dr. Alona Emodi-Perlman, Prof. Ilana Eli, Dr. Jawan Sleiman, and Dr. Pessia Friedman-Rubin of the Department of Oral Rehabilitation at the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University. Hundreds of Israeli women were divided into two groups: premenopausal women aged 20–40 and postmenopausal women aged 55 and older.

Researchers discovered that 15 percent of the elderly are at high risk for sleep apnea, compared to only 3.5 percent of the younger population.

The study also discovered that snoring puts 11 percent of women at risk for sleep apnea, ten times more than the 1 percent of women who don’t snore.

“Sleep-breathing disorders range across a broad spectrum – from mild snoring to the most severe and dangerous disorder – sleep apnea, which causes a decrease in blood oxygen concentration and can be life-threatening,” says Eli.

“If the phenomenon is not diagnosed and treated in time, it can contribute to the development of a variety of systemic diseases, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

The paucity of diagnosis is primarily due to a lack of awareness and under-reporting, as women experiencing the problem are unaware of it because it occurs while they sleep.

Women suffering from sleep apnea may report fatigue, headaches, masticatory muscle stiffness upon waking, or sleep issues such as insomnia. These symptoms could be a sign of sleep apnea.

“The lack of early diagnosis is particularly noticeable in one of the target demographic groups: women over the age of 50, who suffer from an increase in the incidence of sleep-disordered breathing due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause,” says Eli, adding that “we wanted to examine and characterize the phenomenon in this group in order to raise a red flag when necessary.”

Image Credit: Getty

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