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Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
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Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems

Brief disturbances of sleep may interfere with the normal process of solidifying the memories we form during the day.

In a new study, healthy people performed better on a task they had learned the day before after getting a good night's sleep. By contrast, participants with mild sleep apnea, which causes sleep disturbances, showed virtually no improvement on the task the next day.

The finding adds to a growing body of research showing sleep aids in memory consolidation and can improve the ability to perform certain memory tasks, particularly those that require motor memory, such as riding a bike. But the study also shows "it's not just the amount of sleep, it's really having restful sleep that’s not interrupted that is important," said study researcher Dr. Ina Djonlagic, a physician in the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

It's possible many other sleep disorders besides sleep apnea interfere with sleep's ability to consolidate and enhance memories, Djonlagic said.

She added that the findings provide a reason to treat mild sleep apnea, something physicians may not do if it does not cause daytime sleepiness or fatigue.

"We clearly show there's an impairment: They're impacted," Djonlagic said.

Sleep and memory

Scientists divide the memory process into three main stages: encoding, consolidating and retrieving. The consolidation of memories includes stabilizing and storing them for the long term.

The study involved 15 healthy people and 16 patients with sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep that can cause people to briefly awaken. Those with mild sleep apnea awaken about 15 times a night, Djonlagic said.

Study participants learned a motor task in the evening in which they typed the same sequence of five numbers over and over again. The researchers said the healthy and the sleep apnea groups learned the task equally well; both became more accurate and faster at typing the sequence over time.

After a night's rest, and with no additional training, the healthy participants showed a 14 percent improvement in their task accuracy and speed. However, the sleep apnea patients showed almost no improvement, and some did worse than the day before, Djonlagic said.

Alertness was not an issue: Both groups performed equally well on a reaction task in the morning testing their alertness, Djonlagic said.

No relationship was found between participants' performance on the morning task and the amount of oxygen deprivation they experienced at night. However, there was a link between task performance and the number of times participants were roused from sleep: The worst performances appeared related to the greatest number of disturbances.

Memory problems


"This highlights the fact that the arousals that are associated with sleep apnea truly can have an impact on someone's memory," sleep expert Dr. David Neubauer, who was not involved in the study, said of the findings. The impact may be especially pronounced in people with more severe sleep apnea, said Neubauer, who is at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Sleep apnea classification and treatment are currently determined mainly by looking at the amount of oxygen deprivation patients experience at night, and not at how often they are roused, Djonlagic said. The findings suggest this may need to be reconsidered, she said.

fair use from:
http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/2393-sl...ation.html

The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
05-01-2012 11:20 PM
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Rritch Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
I don't have apnea (girlfriend does) but I have not slept well an a regular basis for about 2 years because of stress. I have noticed that my memory is no where as good as it used to be, bot to mention my ability to multi task. I always thought is was just the stress, but maybe it is also because I am not sleeping well.
05-02-2012 08:40 AM
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CHanlon Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
I can absolutely verify this. I not only had a terrible memory for the several years that I know I was avoiding doing anything about my SA, but I didn't have the ability to concentrate on learning something new without nodding off. I noticed an increased ability to retain information immediately after starting on CPAP... including everything I've learned about SA. Tongue
05-02-2012 09:35 AM
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RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
Yep, me too... memory problems, but also to a greater degree, my thinking process seems more limited in general. Been on CPAP since 2004, but the brain issues have intensified especially in the last 2-3 years (if I remember correctly).

I seem to have trouble remembering specific words when speaking. Doesn't happen when I type on a forum generally, but when I have conversations, I get frustrated when trying to think of a stupid word to convey what I'm talking about.

Maybe Alzheimer's... who knows. Dont-know

Coffee seems to help at times to "give me an edge" and seems to act like fuel for my brain... not sure why that works, however. But who am I to argue with success? Coffee

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05-02-2012 12:06 PM
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Post: #5
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
(05-02-2012 12:06 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote:  Yep, me too... memory problems, but also to a greater degree, my thinking process seems more limited in general. Been on CPAP since 2004, but the brain issues have intensified especially in the last 2-3 years (if I remember correctly).

I seem to have trouble remembering specific words when speaking. Doesn't happen when I type on a forum generally, but when I have conversations, I get frustrated when trying to think of a stupid word to convey what I'm talking about.

Maybe Alzheimer's... who knows. Dont-know

Coffee seems to help at times to "give me an edge" and seems to act like fuel for my brain... not sure why that works, however. But who am I to argue with success? Coffee

SuperSleeper,
I have the exact symptoms (remembering words and names as well)...I am 46 now, have had SA for as long as I can remember. My memory problems started about 3 or 4 years ago, ironically at the same time I started using CPAP.
05-02-2012 12:51 PM
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Post: #6
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
My memory, and my ability to concentrate and stay focused on tasks, has definitely improved since I started CPAP therapy almost 6 months ago.

Stress is definitely a contributing factor, limiting my ability to concentrate and remember, but again, since CPAP therapy, when stress arises it doesn't seem to be as debilitating as it was before.

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05-02-2012 07:47 PM
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RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
I'm famous for my mord wixing.

My most popular is confusing the words "picnic table" and "bathtub". We can kinda see me calling the "riding mower" a "vacuum cleaner" but the other??

Or Star Trek's original pilot was called "The Menagerie". I continually call it "The Meringue".

On a serious note, we've been concerned with my memory lately. I am forgetting a lot of things and it has us concerned. And I am doing odd things. Like the other night, I was trying to flush a tick down the toilet (we don't have our "kill jar" yet). I couldn't get it to flush and could not figure out why. It was because I was flipping the light switch instead of the toilet handle. They aren't anywhere near each other except be in the same room. While it is funny as heck now, it worries me. We are going on the assumption it is because I'm under some intense stress lately.

I do a lot of puzzle games to keep the old brain active. Any excuse to play vs work!

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
05-02-2012 08:15 PM
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Post: #8
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
It's interesting.... for those of you with mind/brain/memory issues like this... you all seem to be able to type words without getting everything mixed up... and I seem to be that way also (some may argue that point).Too-funny

Why is it that I can type with somewhat less confusion and yet when I try to speak sometimes, I can't think of a simple word for the life of me? Like tonight, I wanted to ask my wife to turn on the LED solar light, but I couldn't remember the words "solar" or "LED". Ended up just pointing at the thing and saying "turn it on".

Oh-jeez

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05-02-2012 09:08 PM
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Post: #9
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
It must be a visual thing vs an auditory thing. We know what the word is but can't say it. I bet if you had taken a pen and paper, you could have written the word down without thinking.

I am a great writer in terms of putting the proper words down. But I also tend to use a bunch of words vs one or two that mean the same thing. But it could be a Southern thing as we tend to elongate anything that is small and smash together anything that is small. Like, my step-dad's name is Jim but my mom can stretch it out to about 4 syllables! Yet we can take the name of a town, like Rogersville, and it will come out in about two syllables. And we don't say it is windy, we say it is so windy it could blow a rooster up a coke bottle.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
05-02-2012 09:15 PM
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CHanlon Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Sleep Disturbances May Cause Memory Problems
(05-02-2012 09:15 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  And we don't say it is windy, we say it is so windy it could blow a rooster up a coke bottle.
What size Coke bottle? I mean, I can see a 2 litre, maybe, but an 8 ounce? No way. Halfway up, maybe, but there's no way the rest of the rooster would even fit...
05-02-2012 09:25 PM
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