There is an estimated 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. In this article we try to answer the question, Can Sleep Apnea Cause Depression?
Research ‘can sleep apnea cause depression’?
There is very little research out there at present. However, in 2012 the CDC published a study linking sleep apnea and depression (1). 10,000 people took part in the study.
6% of the men and 3% of the women said they were diagnosed with sleep apnea. 7% of the men and 4% of the women said they snorted/stopped breathing at least five nights a week.
Men and women who said they snorted/stopped breathing for at least five nights a week were three times more likely to suffer from major depression.
The combination of interrupted sleep and less oxygen getting to the brain could create a lower quality of life, that in turn can cause depression.
Some people have lived with sleep apnea for so long they no longer recognize the illness. If you suffer from these symptoms, it is very likely you do suffer from the issue:
- Snorting – Caused by the airways blocking, very similar to snoring.
- Gasping – You stop breathing, so you try to suck in as much air as possible.
- Having a sore or dry throat – Caused by heavy breathing and snoring.
- Sleepiness or Lack Of Energy.
- Morning Headaches.
- Restless Sleep.
- Forgetfulness and Mood Changes.
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia.
Help For Sleep Apnea
The two main factors can be smoking and weight. So the typical response from a healthcare professional is to lose weight and stop smoking.
Avoiding sleeping on your back and change sleeping positions can significantly help.
It is also advisable to avoid alcohol and sleeping tablets.
Take a look at your sleep hygiene and consider a light alarm clock to help overcome insomnia.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Sounds a mouthful, but commonly abbreviated to CPAP. It comes in the form of a mask that you wear over your nose or mouth. The mask connects to a machine that pumps a continues flow of air. It helps to keep the airways open.
However many people report that it is uncomfortable to sleep with the mask. Many also say that they always end up sleeping on their backs, which makes the condition worse.
However, this method is proven to help with sleep apnea.
You can obtain many devices that fit into your mouth and keep the airway open. Even though these are readily available to buy online, it is recommended to visit your healthcare professional or your dentist. Most dentists can make the device tailored to your needs.
Can Sleep Apnea Cause Depression
I think it is clear to see that you can easily link sleep apnea and depression. Some of the symptoms are common among both, and many professionals agree that a lack of sleep contributes to depression.
In this article, we look at the causes of sleep apnea and the symptoms. We also take a brief look at possible treatments.
I would be very interested in hearing your experiences of sleep apnea and how you overcome it. Please leave your comments below.
If you have any questions, please go ahead and ask, I will always answer. Also if you think someone would benefit from reading this article, please share using the buttons below.