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Foggy Brain From Lack of Sleep Is Actually Biological

We’ve all experienced that feeling of fogginess after pulling an all-nighter for work or staying out too late with friends on a weeknight. Feeling forgetful or taking longer to process our thoughts because of exhaustion is simply an expected part of not getting enough sleep. A new joint study from researchers at Tel Aviv University, UCLA and the University of Wisconsin has discovered exactly how this lack of sleep affects brain activity.

The teams determined that individual neurons in the brain actually slow down due to sleep deprivation, causing a delayed response behaviorally and cognitively. This neural slowing messes with visual perception and memory associations in the brain.

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Hot Flashes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A new study published in the journal of the North American Menopause Society examines the potential link between hot flashes and obstructive sleep apnea in menopausal women. Researchers discovered that women who reported experiencing severe hot flashes were 1.87 times more at risk for obstructive sleep apnea than those who reported only mild or no hot flashes.

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Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea a Serious Danger

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology titled "Increased Prevalence of Sleep-disordered Breathing in Adults," 5.9 million American adults have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but 23.5 million remain undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea has made headlines in recent years, bringing awareness to the dangers of the condition. For example, when actress Carrie Fisher died last year, sleep apnea was listed as one of the leading causes of death.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment Could Help Delay Onset of Age-Related Diseases

Sleep apnea affects over 100 million people worldwide, and many researchers believe the disorder is still largely undiagnosed. Two of the most well-known and common risk factors are obesity and advanced age. Researchers in Portugal published an article in the medical journal Trends in Molecular Medicine expressing their concern that as human life expectancy continues to increase, the need for delaying or stopping the onset of age-related diseases becomes more important than ever. The research team believes that sleep apnea is connected to the onset of some of the most concerning age-related diseases.

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5 Myths About Sleep Apnea

Word of mouth can be a powerful thing. However, when it comes to passing along information that isn't true, it can be frustrating and at times downright dangerous. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and if not diagnosed can lead to a host of problems. One of the reasons Dr. Buck is so passionate about caring for patients with sleep apnea is the many myths that surround the disorder. Here are five myths about sleep apnea you should know about:

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Finding New Ways to Diagnose Sleep Apnea

For many couples, nighttime can be stressful because of a snoring spouse. It may seem like just an annoying habit, but snoring can be a sign of something more serious, such as sleep apnea. If that's the case, it could be time to seek professional treatment.

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Could This Medication Help Treat Sleep Apnea?

According to a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University, researchers believe they have discovered a drug that could lower the frequency of apneic episodes in patients with sleep apnea. The medication, dronabinol, is currently used to help chemotherapy patients deal with nausea and vomiting during treatments.  

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The Serious and Somber Reality of Sleep Apnea

With the recent news that actress Carrie Fisher died as a result of sleep apnea and other additional complications, this serious health condition is making headlines across the country. Though officials cannot conclusively determine the exact cause of death, it appears that sleep apnea likely played a role. If left untreated, sleep apnea is harmful to your health and can quickly become dangerous.

What is Sleep Apnea?
The Greek word "apnea" translates to "without breath. As such, sleep apnea is a structural problem characterized by repeated cessations or pauses in breathing during sleep. Typically, the airway collapses during deeper levels of sleep, compromising breathing and interrupting sleep. Millions of American suffer from the disorder, and it affects their everyday way of life, impacting work performance, personal relationships and daily functioning.

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A Smarter Way to Sleep: Using Smartphones to Diagnose Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are often evaluated and diagnosed by polysomnography (PSG), which measures brain activity, eye movement and heart rhythms during sleep, but a new type of technology designed by researchers out of Osaka University utilizes a smartphone to help diagnose sleep disorders. It uses machine learning via a smartphone to help determine if a patient is suffering from a sleep disorder.

Using Modern Technology to Diagnose Sleep Disorders
According to Osaka University Associate Professor Ken-ichi Fukui, PSGs are ineffective because they require a patient to be monitored outside of their natural sleeping environment, typically in a sleep lab or other medical facility. He believes that because "our environment influences how we sleep...we should not expect the same patterns sleeping at a hospital [versus] or sleeping at home."[1] This could be why so many people aren’t diagnosed with a sleep disorder, even though they really do have one.

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Untreated Sleep Apnea Could Cause Brain Damage in Children

New research suggests that children suffering from untreated obstructive sleep apnea show a significant reduction in gray matter of the brain. The study conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center and published in the journal, Scientific Reports, conveys that "there is clear evidence of widespread neuronal damage or loss compared to the general population." [1] The findings of this recent study are especially troubling as it’s estimated that currently, three percent of children suffer from sleep apnea.

The University of Chicago Medical Center study analyzed 16 children with OSA and evaluated their sleep patterns overnight in its pediatric sleep laboratory. Children were administered neuro-cognitive testing and underwent brain scans with a non-invasive MRI. These results were compared with MRI images from nine healthy children of the same age, gender, ethnicity and weight, who did not suffer from sleep apnea.  

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What's Eating You: How Diet Impacts Migraines

A 2016 study confirms that diet can directly impact the prevalence of migraines. The saying, "you are what you eat" could not be truer when discussing diet and migraines. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are a serious neurological disease affecting roughly 38 million Americans. It is the sixth most disabling illness in the world. Certain beverages, foods and food additives are known to trigger migraines and reducing or eliminating them completely can provide noticeable relief.

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Sick and Tired: How the Immune System Suffers When We Don’t Sleep

A new study suggests that chronic sleep deprivation can negatively impact the immune system, leading to an increased incidence of illness. The study, conducted by the University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine, confirms how the immune system is compromised when the body is not fully rested. Many factors can cause and contribute to sleep deprivation, so it is important to recognize the signs and risk factors to combat sleep deprivation early on.

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