Sleep Apnea & Your Mental Health

Life can be miserable when you’re not getting enough sleep. Missing out on sleep can increase your stress levels, the likelihood of making mistakes, and even put your job at risk. Sleep apnea causes patients to wake up several times throughout the night which can lead to dreaded, groggy mornings. 

It’s no secret that people who enjoy a full night of sleep are more focused and sharp throughout the day. The good news is that sleep apnea treatment can help you get a peaceful night of sleep so you can enjoy the benefits throughout the day.

Sleep Apnea & Mental Illness

Sleep apnea can increase your risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety. If you already suffer from these mental illnesses, chronic fatigue will only make them worse. 

Additionally, when you slip into your slumber, the final sleep stage called REM occurs after about 90 minutes. Dreaming occurs at this stage and it’s essential for learning and creating new memories. If you’re constantly interrupted by sleep apnea events, you won’t experience the benefits of a full night of rest and it can be nearly impossible to live up to your fullest potential.

Sleep Apnea Vs Mental Health Symptoms

It may be difficult to differentiate between sleep apnea symptoms and characteristics that define mental health issues. Symptoms such as irritability, trouble concentrating, and difficulty staying asleep can be found in both sleep apnea and certain mental illnesses.

Dr. Bassford can review your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea. Once diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can begin treatment right away. Dr. Bassford customizes her treatments to meet the needs of each individual patient, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the help you need.

We’ll Help You Enjoy the Benefits of a Full Night’s Rest

When you’re not sleeping well, it can affect nearly every aspect of your life. Dr. Bassford can help you on your journey to a better night’s rest so you can enjoy the benefits every day. Contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (301) 593-5500 or fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a link between obstructive sleep apnea and anxiety?

One study showed that patients with sleep apnea are more likely to have anxiety. The participants in the study were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and 50% of them had symptoms of anxiety. The research showed a positive correlation between the severity of obstructive sleep apnea and the frequency of anxiety. 

Can sleep apnea cause serious health conditions?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can cause a variety of long-term damage due to repetitive loss of oxygen throughout the night. If undiagnosed, it can cause health conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Fortunately, Dr. Bassford offers various solutions such as oral appliance therapy in combination with other treatment methods so that you can begin reversing the negative effects associated with sleep apnea.

What is the best position to sleep in with sleep apnea?

Side sleeping is the preferred sleeping position for patients with sleep apnea. If diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Bassford may recommend positional therapy techniques that utilize the use of a pillow to promote open airways and reduce the risk of an apnea event. 

While positional therapy can be helpful in reducing symptoms, it’s recommended in combination with other trusted treatment methods such as oral appliance therapy so you’re sure to get the rest you need.

Can sleep apnea cause dementia-like symptoms?

During sleep apnea, you consistently lose oxygen to your brain throughout the night. Over time, this can increase your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because it leads to a buildup of beta-amyloid plaques which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with more severe forms of sleep apnea have an increased presence of beta-amyloid plaques.

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10301 Georgia Ave, Suite 207
Silver Spring, MD 20902