Sleep Apnea & Mental Health
The Importance of Sleep for Your Mental Health
Not having enough sleep can negatively impact your well-being and how you function throughout the day. Depending on your age and other factors, it’s widely recommended that you get eight hours of sleep each night. While you rest, your body has the chance to repair itself and get the mind ready for another day.
Sleep apnea disturbs this process, by causing lapses in your breathing dozens of times per hour. This prevents your body from getting quality sleep, impacting nearly every other part of your life. If left untreated, your condition and your mental health will worsen in the long run.
The Need for REM Sleep
When sleep apnea constantly causes your body to wake up, you’re unable to get enough REM sleep. This can have many consequences, such as causing chemical imbalances in your brain. This is important since it affects how you function throughout the day.
Only during deep REM sleep is the brain highly active, recalling memories that you may perceive as dreams. Ultimately, it’s this REM sleep that’s crucial for helping you feel well-rested, and when disturbed, it can lead to a variety of mental health problems.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Mental Health
Comorbidity happens when a patient is suffering from two medical conditions at the same time and can turn chronic in the long run. Sleep apnea is comorbid to some mental health issues in many ways, such as:
- Depression: Patients who suffer from depression can experience sleeplessness, daytime fatigue, irritability, and mood swings.
- Anxiety & PTSD: Patients with anxiety disorder can suffer from a lack of sleep. Veterans with PTSD can also suffer from sleep problems.
- Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia: Patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can suffer from daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Additionally, the medications for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can often cause drowsiness. OSA is more likely to be present in patients with schizophrenia, making the situation concerning.
With sleep apnea, your mental illness can worsen to the point it becomes life-threatening. Fortunately, Dr. Clinton can find the treatment you need to get a good night’s sleep. If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea with your medical condition, schedule a consultation at our Waxahachie office.
Sleep Apnea & Anxiety
Repeatedly losing sleep creates a sleep deficit, which can make it difficult to handle stressful situations and lead to possible anxiety. While there’s a definite connection between sleep apnea and anxiety, it’s often unclear whether the loss of sleep is causing anxiety or the anxiety itself is causing the disorder.
It may also be a two-way connection. Patients who suffer from anxiety might be at a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. With treatment of one of the conditions, you may alleviate the other as well.
With our oral appliance, you can improve your anxiety without ever taking a prescription medication. Contact our Waxahachie office at (972) 737-5337 if you’re interested in learning more and Dr. Clinton will be happy to assist you.
Additional Ways Sleep Apnea Affects Your Brain
Difficulty in Concentrating
Not receiving enough sleep can make it difficult for your body to function normally. Untreated sleep apnea can affect your ability to concentrate on simple daily tasks. This can prevent you from completing these responsibilities, and therefore lead to higher stress.
Emotion & Memory Processing
As you sleep, your brain processes the information and memory throughout the day. Once you wake up, you’ll be able to fully recall yesterday’s events with a better understanding. Not being able to complete your sleep can affect how you can experience and perceive events during the day.
With sleep apnea disturbing your sleep, it causes a chemical imbalance that makes it difficult to control your emotions. Additionally, you wouldn’t be able to recall some memories, causing them to surface during an unexpected time.
Your Simple Solution to Sleep Apnea
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea along with your medical condition, Dr. Clinton can help you. After undergoing a sleep study to get a proper diagnosis, you can come to our Waxahachie office for your consultation and Dr. Clinton will find the solution for you.
At Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Clinton offers customized oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. With the oral appliance, you’ll be able to receive a discreet, comfortable, and quiet solution to treat your sleep apnea and alleviate your symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the connection between sleep and mental health?
Poor sleep has been shown to significantly worsen the symptoms of many mental health issues. Sleeping problems can be secondary to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. In addition to affecting sleep itself, many medical and mental conditions can be worsened by sleep-related problems, causing further complications.
Can sleep apnea affect me physically?
Sleep apnea can affect patients both mentally and physically. While untreated sleep apnea gives a higher risk of patients developing anxiety or depression, it can also cause a variety of physical symptoms, including:
- Weight gain/obesity
- Develop cardiovascular conditions
- More likely to get sick often
- High blood pressure
- Lack of healthy growth and development
Will my insurance cover my sleep apnea treatment?
Most insurance providers should cover a portion of the treatment cost. We highly encourage you to speak to your insurance provider to get a deeper understanding of the coverage plan and learn more about the benefits they offer. We also offer affordable financing options so you don’t delay your treatment any longer.
Regain Your Quality Sleep
Receiving treatment in order to prevent your mental health issues from getting worse is a great step to better quality sleep. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Clinton, call our Waxahachie office at (972) 737-5337 today. You can also fill out our online contact form below and one of our staff members will be happy to assist you.