Understanding the Link Between Sleep Apnea and Depression
Sleep apnea and depression are interlinked. Sleep apnea can cause and worsen depression due to the lack of sleep, and depression intensifies sleep apnea because it also causes you to lose sleep. You can find yourself in a hopeless cycle, but sleep apnea treatment can help.
Sleep deprivation can have severe effects on your mental health. Chronic sleep problems affect nearly 50 to 80% of patients who visit a psychiatric practice. Although the connection between sleep and mental health is not fully understood, studies suggest that sleep is vital for fostering emotional and mental resilience. People are likelier to experience more emotional vulnerability and negative thinking when sleep-deprived.
Sleep is important for restoring both the body and the brain, and when someone experiences either disrupted sleep or not the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, it can harm mental health. For example, those with insomnia are ten times more likely to suffer from depression and 17 times more likely to suffer from anxiety. The less sleep one gets, the more likely they will suffer from a mental health disorder.
So, what’s preventing you from getting enough sleep? One of the conditions that can cause disrupted sleep is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed–some estimates say that as much as 90% of people with the condition are undiagnosed. There are many instances where patients seek help for their mental illnesses but not their underlying cause.
Studies have shown sleep apnea may be a reason antidepressant treatments sometimes fail. Sleep apnea may cause depressed moods, fatigue, and tiredness. In one study, sleep apnea treatment alleviated depression symptoms for 95% of people.