Chapter 11: My Research

One of the difficulties of finding solutions to SIDS is that it is difficult to undertake experiments to study the occurance. 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 harmful 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. 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 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.

The data from this survey projected that for those 60 and older approximately 16.4% of AD can be considered caused solely by the practice of sleeping with their head covered. Applying the data to those 70 and older, the percent is 11.3%. This suggests that sleeping with the head covered directly causes somewhere between 13% and 14% of all cases of AD.

This would be an important discovery since a drug-free, cost-free change in behaviour may result in the avoidance of this disease for millions of individuals, not to mention the considerable personal and societal benefits that could be realized. Also, it would be important to discover whether a change in sleeping practices later in life would avoid the disease, delay the onset of the disease, or slow its progress once suffered. 

The percentage of women practicing some level of head covering was approximately 47%, while for men it was only 33%. This difference could account for a significant portion of the reason why women more than men suffer AD.

So if you take anything from reading my work, please stop the practice of sleeping with your head fully or partially under the covers. Always insure that your mouth and nose is exposed to a circulation of fresh air. Please tell others to stop the practice. Millions of individuals can avoid Alzheimer’s by this simple change in practice, which will enhance their lives, extend their lives, not to mention eliminate a large part of the hardship and cost of caring for those who have Alzheimer’s.

So where to next:

A link has often been considered between learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease. Many who were getting AD were individuals who underperformed in their lives due to having learning disabilities. Can harmful rebreathing be the link that connects these two outcomes, causing both learning disabilities early in life and AD later in life? I believe so as I believe that both are as a result of harmful rebreathing: as I have discovered many who suffer Alzheimer’s did so because of their sleeping practice of sleeping under the covers exposing themselves to harmful rebreathing, and as I have theorized that accidental occurrence of harmful rebreathing for babies in their first year results in a SIDS death or learning disabilities.

I have theorized that SIDS and learning disabilities may occur to babies within their first year of life due to accidental harmful rebreathing. But is there a link between deliberate sleeping with the head under the covers and learning disabilities, including Autism? After my initial research on Alzheimer’s, I set forth to survey whether individuals who have a learning disability or Autism also have a higher incidence of practicing sleeping under the covers. If so, we can induce strongly that there is a causal relationship between the two. Here I am theorizing the harmful rebreathing in this case will result in hypoxia (the lack of oxygen to brain cells), and the hypoxia results in learning disabilities, or simply to poor or under performance in a person's life.

To complete this study individuals who were searching information on learning disabilities on the internet were invited to participate in a short survey comparing their sleeping practices (or those of their children) to that of their educational achievements, need for support with learning, or attendance in a self-contained special education classroom. Part of the survey also asked whether they were identified as autistic, learning disabled, ADHD, gifted, dyslexic, etc.

The survey (which included over 400 submissions) discovered that those who have any learning disability, practice sleeping under the covers to a significantly higher percentage, compared to those who do not have a disability. This to me indicates a positive relationship between learning disabilities and rebreathing that occurs while sleeping with the head under the covers in a microenvironment where oxygen gets depleted over time.

For those who required some additional support with their learning (generally indicating that they had general difficulty learning or a learning disability) the percentage of those who slept uncovered was 51.4%. This increased to 63.3% for those who did practice some level of head covering. However, the highest increase was for those who attended a self-contained classroom. The percentage increased from 14.6% for those uncovered, to 25.9 % for those who did practice some level of head covering. That is a 77.4% increase.

For those who indicated difficulties in all subjects, the percentage of those sleeping uncovered was 34.7%, which jumped to 49.6 % for those indicating some covering. That is an increase of 42.9%.

Therefore in all areas: those who have difficult in all subjects, or those who require occasional support, or those who attend a self contained classroom, sleeping with the head covered is practiced to a much higher extent, which to me indicates that head covering while sleeping is at least partially the cause of these difficulties.

Using the data I estimated that about 13.1% of all those requiring support with their learning were due to the practice of sleeping with the head covered (to achieve this percentage, the percentage of those who require support but who sleep uncovered is applied to those who require support but who did sleep covered. The difference is then applied to all those who required support to obtain the percentage). Using the same method, the data suggested 21.7% of those who had difficulty in all subjects were due to covering the head while sleeping. Similarly, the data suggested 34.1% of those who attended a self-contained class were due to covering the head while sleeping. This is significant as it suggests that over a third of all students who attend a self-contained special education classroom do so specifically due to their sleeping practice of covering the head while sleeping.

Part of the survey queried whether they had been identified with a learning disability. This part of the data showed that about 75% of those who identified themselves with autism, ADHD, or dyslexia, indicated that they slept with some level of covering the head. From my survey of Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, MS, and Parkinson’s disease, I was able to estimate that the general healthy population practices head covering while sleeping about 20% to 25% of the time (and perhaps less).  This is in stark contrast to the practices of those with learning disabilities at 75%. Consider that those with these disorders practice sleeping with the head covered at a rate three to four times that of the general population. This is significant. This data clearly identifies the practice of sleeping with the head covered as either the cause, or leading cause, in the occurrence of learning disabilities, including autism.

Final, Final Words:

I finished my book Rebreathing with the hope that my writings would spur further inquiry and research. Since then I have completed my own research which I believe strongly demonstrates that rebreathing through sleeping with the head under the covers is a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease as well as learning disabilities, including autism.

One question I have (and which has not been tested) is, if about 20% of the general population practices some level of head covering while sleeping, do women also practice this while pregnant. Could this practice by pregnant women also be a significant cause of learning disabilities (perhaps even of cerebral palsy)?

Another theory that I have relates to genetics. Some disorders seem to run in families and because of that genetics is often considered as the root cause. However, often a genetic link appears difficult to find probably because it doesn’t exist. If we consider that families tend to practice similar habits (children copy their parents), including sleeping with the head covered, couldn’t rebreathing be the cause of these patterns, rather than genetics? In other words, could the fact that learning disabilities sometimes runs in families be due to their sleeping practices rather than some genetic factor.

When we consider that mental disorders, including schizophrenia, are often related to learning disabilities earlier in life, is it possible that these individuals also practice sleeping with the head under the covers. Therefore these disorders may possibly be caused or exasperated by this practice, and that a simple change in practice could reduce those outcomes? When we consider the link between crime and mental disorders and learning disabilities, possibly this sleeping practice is also responsible to some extent for the level of crime in society.

So there you have it. I hope that I have successfully explained my theories of how harmful rebreathing is responsible for many outcomes: SIDS, learning disabilities, autism, mental disorders, crime and others outcomes. I believe that my research has helped to strengthen proof that these theories are correct. Most importantly I hope that my writing here will spur others to consider some of these ideas and lead to their own research.

If I am right, that rebreathing is responsible for some or all of these disorders, then a simple drug-free, cost-free change in behaviour may result in considerable societal improvements and financial savings. I would hope.