Do you find yourself nodding off throughout the day? Do you become easily irritated and snap at people when you don’t mean to? Do you experience mood swings for no real reason? You may have sleep apnea, a condition where your sleep cycle is interrupted by a temporary lapse in breathing. It may cause you to not feel well-rested during the day, leading to symptoms of depression. Let’s examine the link between depression and sleep apnea in Owasso.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing during the night, sometimes for as long as 10 seconds. This causes your body to panic and wake up temporarily, forcing you to breathe. Your sleep becomes interrupted, and even though you may not remember waking up during the night, your lack of restful sleep causes problems the next day. Some of these problems are very similar to common symptoms of depression.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:
- Loud snoring
- Abruptly waking up and feeling out of breath
- Feeling exhausted during the day
- Headaches in the morning
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- Increased irritability
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
Symptoms of depression can include:
- Irritability over trivial issues
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness
- Sleep problems like insomnia
- Constant fatigue and tiredness
- Trouble concentrating
What Is the Link Between Sleep Apnea and Depression?
As you can see, many of the symptoms of both diseases overlap. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a definite connection between the two. Participants who were observed to have sleep apnea had not only the expected depression symptoms like feeling tired and having trouble sleeping, but also the unexpected symptoms, like feeling hopeless. The link could be explained by the fact that both sleep apnea and depression are vastly underdiagnosed illnesses.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Sleep Apnea?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact your primary care physician. They will likely refer you to a sleep clinic, where your sleep can be observed for potential problems. If they believe you have sleep apnea, they will recommend a visit to your dentist in Owasso. There, your dentist can craft a custom-made oral appliance that will keep your airway open so that you will breathe smoothly throughout the night. If the workers at the sleep center determine that you do not have sleep apnea, they can refer you to a mental health professional to talk about your depression.
Quality sleep is important in life. If you’re not getting the level of sleep you need, it can affect everything else you do. when in doubt, talk to your health care provider about any problems you have with sleeping.
About the Author
Dr. Jayson Voto graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 2006. He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Society, and the Tulsa Dental Society. To learn more about how he can help you with your sleep apnea, click here or call (918)-272-5381.