Common Symptoms of Depression Linked to Sleep Apnea

Depression is a common side-effect for those suffering from sleep apnea. Review the symptoms of depression and consider sleep apnea treatment. Treatment can help you take your life back. Common depression symptoms include:

  • Sad, helpless, or hopeless feelings
  • Inability to sleep
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Changes in appetite and weight changes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of energy
  • Disinterest in once enjoyable things
  • TMJ Symptoms

People who can’t sleep are at a far greater risk of becoming depressed than those who sleep well. Many of these common depression symptoms are also sleep apnea symptoms. Some studies suggest that some people diagnosed with depression may have sleep apnea. If you’re experiencing these symptoms in San Jose or Los Gatos, consider seeking sleep apnea treatment.

woman laying in bed covering a pillow over her faceThe Crucial Role of Sleep in Mental Health

Sleep is a vital state. It is essential to your good health and well-being. Getting enough sleep- about seven to nine hours each night for most people- can help protect your mental and physical health, life quality, and safety.

How you feel while awake depends on how well you sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation can alter the activity in some parts of your brain. Sleep deficiency may make it difficult to make decisions, solve problems, control your emotions and behavior, and cope with change. For San Jose and Los Gatos residents, understanding the importance of sleep can be the first step toward better mental health.

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.

Self-Care Tips to Manage Sleep Apnea and Depression Symptoms

If you’re experiencing sleep apnea and depression, try these self-care tactics to potentially ease your symptoms while you are working on obtaining a sleep apnea diagnosis and getting treatment:

  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can improve your mental well-being and sleep quality.
  • Avoid Sleeping on Your Back: This position can worsen sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Don’t Drink Alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycle and exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Refrain from Taking Sleeping Pills: These can worsen sleep apnea and aren’t a long-term solution.
  • Optimize Your Sleeping Environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by using comfortable bedding, setting a good sleeping temperature, and minimizing lights.
  • Avoid Loud Sounds: Consider using white noise machines to drown out disruptive noises.
  • Don’t Watch TV Before Bed: Screen time can interfere with your body’s ability to fall asleep.
  • Lose Weight if Necessary: Excess weight, especially around the neck, can worsen sleep apnea.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the airway, worsening sleep apnea.

Remember, these are not replacements for professional medical advice. They are simply some strategies that can help reduce the severity of your sleep apnea and depression symptoms while you wait to start treatment.

Take the First Step in Breaking the Cycle of Sleep Apnea and Depression

Depression hurts. Don’t face it or fight it alone. If you think snoring or sleep apnea could be causing your depression, a dentist may be your best choice for treatment. Certified in appliances that help control sleep apnea and snoring, treatment from Dr. Nancy Nehawandian of Top Down Dental in Los Gatos can help you get the rest you need to beat your feelings of depression. 

Residents of San Jose and Los Gatos, don’t let another sleepless night contribute to your depression. Call us today at (408) 354-5600 to learn more.