A recent investigation has revealed that uncontrolled sleep apnea, a condition characterized by repetitive instances of breathing cessation lasting 10 seconds or more during the night, detrimentally affects brain health and elevates the risk of mortality due to various health complications.
Individuals afflicted with severe and untreated sleep apnea, who experience reduced periods of deep sleep, exhibit more extensive damage to the brain’s white matter compared to those who enjoy restful sleep at night.
The white matter is the tissue responsible for establishing connections between brain cells and other components of the nervous system. The degree of damage incurred can be observed through the presence of small white spots when the organ is examined.
According to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, each 10 percent reduction in time spent in deep slumber corresponds to a white matter increase in the brain equivalent to aging by approximately 2.3 years, as observed through scans.
Sleep expert Kristen Knutson from Northwestern University remarked, “These findings align with existing literature that underscores the crucial role of sleep in preserving brain health.”