How Sleep Apnea Psychologically Affects You
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle, waking people up repeatedly throughout the night due to the lack of oxygen. Not only does sleep apnea lead to other serious health conditions, like heart problems and type 2 diabetes, it’s also been linked to a variety of mental health issues.
According to Harvard Medical School, “sleep and mental health are closely connected.” Complicating matters even further, “people with mental health problems are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.” Unfortunately, this makes it easy to receive a misdiagnosis.
Dr. Stern explains how sleep apnea and mental health are further connected below.
Mental Health Conditions Connected to Sleep Apnea
Suffering from two different medical conditions at the same time can make conditions for both worse. This is called comorbidity, and sleep apnea is comorbid with several mental health issues. Some of these include:
- Depression: Many patients who suffer from depression also experience sleep problems and vice versa. If sleep apnea is aggravating your depression, Dr. Stern can provide treatment that offers relief for both conditions.
- Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Patients with schizophrenia tend to sleep excessively, especially during the daytime. Additionally, the drugs used to treat both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder often cause drowsiness.
- Anxiety & PTSD: More than half of patients with generalized anxiety disorder suffer from sleeping issues. Sleep apnea is also common among veterans with PTSD.
Other Ways Sleep Apnea Affects the Brain
Losing necessary hours of sleep affects your body’s ability to perform at its peak. Untreated sleep apnea can impact your ability to concentrate on simple everyday tasks or process new information. It can also affect your work performance.
During your REM sleep cycle, your brain releases emotion-regulating chemicals that help you stay calm throughout the day. Sleep deprivation causes a chemical imbalance in your brain, making it difficult to control your emotions.
Lack of sleep can impair your ability to recollect past memories, as well as present and future events. Since the brain isn’t able to process information properly, it’s likely that you’ll struggle to remember important dates, previous conversations, and more.
Finding Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many patients have found that CPAP alternatives have helped improve both their sleep apnea and their mental health. In addition to professional treatment with Dr. Stern, changing certain lifestyle habits such as incorporating an exercise routine into your daily life and eating well can help improve your sleep quality.
Dr. Stern offers custom oral appliances as a solution to sleep apnea. With an oral appliance, you’ll receive a discreet, quiet, and comfortable solution to help boost your sleep quality and eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms.
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC
Snoring and CPAP Solutions LLC is committed to helping patients with sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea that interferes with their day to day life. Dr. Stern is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and holds more than 2 decades of experience in the field.
Dr. Michael Stern
Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Stern
Ready to put an end to your sleep apnea and the effects it has on your life? Dr. Stern in Willoughby Hills offers a variety of treatment options to ensure all patients find the solution they’re looking for. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stern, call our office at (440) 833-6008. You can also get in touch by filling out our online contact form.