Brain fog and sleep apnea
by Travis Hennager
I've been having brain fog all of a sudden for about 5 days. Basically the symptoms of this are trouble concentrating, short term memory loss, confusion, a feeling of detachment, depression an anxiety. This happened all of a sudden over night and I am fetid to figure out if it is because of sleep apnea.
Have you heard of brain fog happening as a result of sleep apnea? If you google brain fog I have every symptom :-/
Many people with sleep apnea never heard about brain fog
, and I want to thank you for asking, because there is a lot to talk about it.
If we describe the symptoms of brain fog, also named cognitive dysfunction
, many readers with sleep apnea will understand what brain fog means.
The brain fog symptoms
- you can't focus,
- forget why you came into a room,
- when you read a paragraph from a book, you can't read further without having to start over again because you've forgotten what you've read,
- you feel like running on autopilot all day, not interacting with anything and anyone,
- you feel that your body is not physically tired, but your brain is,
- you feel like watching a life rather than participating in it.
- you are trying to remember something but everything is just blank,
- ordinary activities require an extra effort to perform or complete,
- can't think of the correct words to use in conversation,
- you can't solve math problems as well as you once could,
- and many more...
Causes of brain fog
Travis, you asked me if brain fog can be caused by sleep apnea
. I know that is difficult for you to follow all the things that I write, so I'll try to be short. Here is my answer:
Yes, brain fog, or cognitive dysfunction
, can be caused by sleep apnea.
In fact, scientists discovered that cognitive dysfunction can be due to chronic sleep difficulties at any age. So not only sleep apnea can be the cause, but also insomnia and narcolepsy can be risk factors.
Cognitive dysfunction in patients with obstructive sleep apnea has been demonstrated in a number of studies, but the reason is not quite clear.
Recent studies have suggested that hypoxemia
- the deficient oxygenation of the blood - is the main cause for memory problems and physical abilities. The second cause is excessive daytime sleepiness
, which appear due to sleep fragmentation.
Treatment of brain fog
The question is...can you treat the brain fog when you have sleep apnea?
Good news! You can catch two rabbits with one shoot: treat sleep apnea and the braig fog will improve, even disappear!
One small study evaluating the effects of CPAP
therapy on 20 patients with severe obstructive apnea found that most patients demonstrated significant improvement in brain fog. However, most of the patients didn't improve immediately, but in 3 months to 12 month after CPAP therapy was started.
Anyway, the treatment with CPAP demonstrated significant improvements in memory, concentration, verbal fluency and alertness.
If you don't have yet a CPAP, the best way to improve your brain fog is to sleep on the side. Read the page about positional therapy
to understand how can this be helpful for you.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide