Australian specialists and scientists carry on studying human sleep patterns and discovering new things about possible risks linked to having troubled nights on a regular basis. According to a new research, such symptoms as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances can be connected with graduate brain damage and brain shrinkage. The study was carried out by a group of Australian sleep physicians from Austin Health Center in Melbourne, leaded by Fergal O’Donoghue.
Using high-tech imagery technologies, the specialists analyzed brain scans of a large group of the participants, some of which were normal sleepers, and some suffered from regular snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. After comparing the scans of the participants, it turned out that those who have troubled sleep on a regular basis have certain differences in two brain areas: in particular, around those ones which are responsible for human memory and our physical movement control.
It was actually left unclear, if it is sleep apnea that caused brain changes, or vice-versa. Specialists tend to believe that the connections between sleep disorder causing brain shrinkage are more likely to take place, but it is also clear that these types of sleep patterns can cause serious risks to snorer’s health and life. “These were patients with very severe decreases in oxygen levels during the night, and we know from animal studies that if you subject them to drops in oxygen levels, they do develop changes in brain structure,” O’Donoghue says.
Snoring and sleep apnea are among very common conditions for toady’s Australian society as they are very frequently associated with overweight and obesity. According to O’Donoghue, about 90% of cases are undiagnosed. At the same time, another research of Australian sleep experts at Sydney University has shown that those people who suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea have three times higher risks of atherosclerosis caused by damaged artery walls. These findings of Australian sleep specialists were recently presented at the Australian Sleep Conference in Christchurch.
Many of us suffer from chronic or occasional insomnia, sleep disturbances, restlessness or other types of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation. In many situations, known and effective solutions like sleeping pills or developing good sleeping habits do not improve the situation. We know that our sleep patterns depend a lot on our daily diet and what we usually eat, therefore we try to keep away from caffeine and alcohol, but this does not seem to help as well.
For those, who are looking for more solutions to improve own sleep quality, there are recommendations from the world’s leading nutritionists. Check out the list of the foods which, if consumed before the bedtime, can interfere with out sleep routine and cause sleep disturbances.
1. Any spicy food. Spicy foods have clear stimulating effects, they can cause heartburn, heaviness and unpleasant feelings in the stomach. If you like hot wings or other spicy snacks, be sure that you eat those early enough not to bother your sleep.
2. Smoked meat. According to the recent studies, processed and smoked meat has a high content of tyramine, a monoamine compound which stimulates the production of hormones that make us feel awake and alert. Therefore, it is recommended to refrain from eating smoked or processed meat before going to bed.
3. Aged cheese. The same can be said about any sort of hard cheese, which contain tyramine in great amounts.
4. Milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is known for its high content of tyrosine, which in turn gets easily converted into dopamine, a hormone responsible for activities and alertness.
5. Ginseng root tea. In contrast to other herbal teas, ginseng root tea have very strong stimulative effects, though some ginseng tea lovers may not feel those effects. Specialists say that after drinking a cup of ginseng root tea, approximately every second person feels pumped blood pressure and insomnia.