Skipping Sleep Only to Catch Up Tomorrow Is Bad for Cognition

When our patients skip out on sleep and then try to catch up in the following days with longer bouts of sleep, it is tied to worse cognition–both in attention and creativity–in young adults. The more varied a person’s sleep patterns are, the worse their cognition declined across the week. In these instances, it makes learning and completing tasks quite difficult.

For this reason, we want to ensure our young adult patients are getting the appropriate amount of rest and screened for sleep apnea. Whether a person is completing a project, studying for school, or binge-watching their favorite show on Netflix, losing sleep and then trying to catch-up on sleep is never a good idea.

The Negative Effect of Skipping Sleep and Catching Up

Irregular sleep patterns have a negative effect on a person’s ability to focus for planning, making decisions, correcting errors, and remaining attentive while driving. Erratic sleep can also have a significant impact on creativity, meaning it is harder to think on your toes for various projects. Creativity is often described as a person’s ability to see a link between things that might seem unrelated at first, but then are able to create a link.

In addition to a lag in creativity, many young adults will experience a drop in their working memory, which enables them to hold memories for a short time while also completing a separate task. Sleep significantly improves creativity and memory, which is why it is important for us to ensure our patients are getting the sleep they need to complete daily tasks without issues.

Offer Treatment Options

If you notice your patients are experiencing signs of sleep deficiency or they mention how they crammed for an exam and lost sleep, but it’s ok because they will sleep this weekend, make sure you provide proper education. Inform those patients of the need for regular sleep every day and not just some days. Additionally, screen your patients for sleep apnea–there is a chance some patients might also be suffering from sleep apnea. When this is the case, no matter how much sleep they get, they will continue to struggle with their daily tasks. Be aware and look out for common symptoms so you can help your patients lead healthy, happy lives.

Let’s look deeper into cognition with young adults, so we can continue to provide the best care possible. What are ways you might look for signs and symptoms in your patients? Share your ideas and let’s see how we can continue to help!

Should Sleep Apnea Really be the Best Defense in a Trial?

We’ve heard it several times already, “sleep apnea made me do it” or “sleep apnea is the reason I fell asleep.” Is this argument always valid? Should we pay closer attention to those who claim they suffer from sleep apnea? These are all important questions, and while we don’t want to lessen the severity that sleep apnea has on an individual, we also don’t want to overuse it. In a New York Post article, sleep apnea appears to be a lawyer’s new favorite criminal defense.

The Charge

On a flight, a 21-year-old woman had her earbuds in and hood up while she was eating her in-flight lunch when a large middle-aged man sleeping next to her appeared to jump awake. At first, the man grabbed the woman’s shoulder. Soon after he went around and grabbed the woman’s right breast. The groping from the large man lasted about 30 seconds before fellow passengers could pull them apart. The woman’s attacker was brought up on federal sex-abuse charges.

The Defense

In response to the federal sex-abuse charges, the man’s lawyer presented a bizarre defense that has been used far too often. And, that’s a shame for those who actually suffer from this condition. He said, “Sleep apnea made me do it.” The man was eventually acquitted.

Can you believe that? A deadly condition like sleep apnea is not one to be used lightly, and when someone uses this condition as an excuse, it can give sleep apnea a bad name. We don’t want that to happen.

What We Can Do

We’ve seen this happen far too many times now, but what can we do about it? While we can’t change the opinions, we can continue to educate our patients. Through proper education and treatment, we can not only help our patients live healthier lives, but also understand the true definition of this condition.

From train crashes to cases of sexual abuse, where do we draw the line? I wish I knew the answer to this, but I believe that the more we educate ourselves, employees, and patients, the more we can avoid these situations. Whether it is preventing a crash through proper treatment, or allowing for people like the man in this story to not get away with sleep apnea as an excuse for touching a woman by providing proper education, we need to stay strong.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, and we need to continue to provide the services we offer in order to educate the masses.

The Sleep Apnea Device Market has a Bright Future

I have some exciting news to share! The sleep apnea device market has a bright future and that’s great news for us dentists! So, what’s the outlook? Well, by 2020 it is estimated to reach a worth of about $5.3 billion. In the report “Sleep Apnea Devices Market by Product, Diagnostic (PSG, Pulse Oximeter), Therapeutic [CPAP, APAP, BPAP, Masks (Full Face Mask), Oral Appliances (Mandibular Advancement Device)], End User (Home Care Settings, Hospitals) – Analysis & Global Forecasts to 2020”, the major market drivers, restraints/challenges, and opportunities were analyzed and studied.

In the report, as presented by marketsandmarkets.com, the global sleep apnea devices market is studied for the forecast period of 2015-2020. As of 2015, the market was at $3.7 billion, but by 2020, the market is expected to reach $5.3 billion at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. With 2015 being the highest growth of the market, we will continue to see a growth spurt at the highest rate yet.

A Look at the Forecast

The regions for this study included the following areas:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • The Rest of the World (Latin America, Central America, and Africa)

We saw North America with the largest share in the sleep apnea market in 2015, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. However, the European market has projections to grow at the highest CAGR rate during the target between now and 2020.

ResMed, a major player in the market, continues to observe a strong focus on innovation. Through such a rich pipeline of innovative products in the market opens up so many opportunities for treatment of sleep apnea.

Remain ahead of the game by providing the best treatment options for sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. Together we can help our patients get a better night’s sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea and available treatment options, visit www.mpateldds.com. You can also view upcoming lectures to help you continue to learn more about this growing industry.

Did You Know? Sleep Apnea May Be Bad for Kidneys

Just when you thought there weren’t any other connections out there. Well, we can now connect sleep apnea with kidney failure. That’s right; sleep apnea may be bad for the kidneys.  According to Fox News, having sleep apnea may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Researchers analyzed data for 10 years—from 2000 to 2010—on 8,600 adults diagnosed with sleep apnea and four times as many adults of similar age, sex and monthly income without sleep apnea. They found 157 new cases of chronic kidney disease among people with sleep apnea and 298 cases in the comparison group.

After taking other health factors into account, sleep apnea increased the risk of kidney disease by 58%—wow, that’s a large percentage! And, by comparison, hypertension increased the risk by 17%. Additionally, diabetes being a stronger predictor than both other factors, more than doubling the risk of kidney disease.

Intermittent low levels of of oxygen during the night and fragmented sleep patterns may activate higher blood pressure. As a result, this could damage the kidneys and make individuals more susceptible to chronic kidney disease.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine at night. This might help to decrease high blood pressure and mitigate kidney risk. The same goes for the use of oral appliance therapy. As a dentist specializing in Sleep Dentistry not only can you help treat sleep apnea, but you can also help to prevent kidney disease. The use of oral appliance therapy can help improve your sleep while improving your overall health and well being.

Do your research and gain a better understanding of sleep apnea and this new-founded connection with kidney disease. And, if you are ready to complete more continuing education courses in the area of sleep apnea, please take a look at some upcoming lectures. As always, if you have any questions or are interested in further information, please contact my office.