Chapter 9: My Research

One of the difficulties of finding solutions to SIDS is that it is difficult to undertake experiments to study the occurrence. No one would want to undertake any experiment that would put a baby in danger, and you can’t ask them any questions about their experience. In considering rebreathing, the question I had was, “Is there any other way that depleted rebreathing could be practiced by adults, and if so could surveys be conduct to discover whether there were any consequences to that behaviour?” And there is. The practice of sleeping fully (including the head) under the covers is very similar to that of the unfortunate circumstance of a baby having their breathing restricted or limited to a microenvironment whereby the oxygen gets depleted along with the accumulation of carbon dioxide. The same should occur in the similar microenvironment of sleeping under the covers for an extended period of time. This is a known sleeping practice, but no research has been conducted to see whether there are any consequences to this practice, until now. It has always been assumed that sufficient air filters through the bedding assuring sufficient oxygen supply. But that is an assumption that needs to be reconsidered.

What consequence could there be to that practice? The theory I wanted to test is whether sleeping under the covers over a lifetime could have any impact on suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Is it possible that under heavy thick bedding over an extended period of time the content of oxygen will be depleted over the course of the night through rebreathing (the breathing of the same air over and over), and that this depletion causes some level of hypoxia, the lack of oxygen to brain cells? Hypoxia is considered to cause an increase in A-beta proteins, and it is this accumulation of A-beta proteins which has been considered as a significant marker of AD.

The methodology of this survey was to invite those who were searching the Internet (Google and Bing) for information on AD to complete a short survey. This survey queried their level of lucidity (from lucid to late stage AD) relative to their sleeping practice (various levels of covering the head while sleeping: from never, to occasional partial cover, to frequent complete covering). The scope of this survey was not expected to be definitive, but to discover whether there might be a relationship; and that if there appeared to be a relationship, further studies could be undertaken under more strict controls.  I believe the results of this survey of over 500 submissions suggest strongly that there is a significant causal relationship between sleeping with one’s head covered and the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Having completed the study of the relationship to Alzheimer's Disease, I took this same methodology to study the relationship between sleeping practices and Multiple Sclerosis, Learning Disabilities, Parkinson's disease, and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). 

Barry Stanley