Can Sleep Apnea Cause Depression?

April 16, 2023
Man sitting on sofa with sad expression on his face

Everyone feels blue from time to time, but for millions of people, feeling down is their normal state of existence. Such individuals are exhibiting symptoms of depressive disorder, which is commonly referred to as depression. This complex condition can seem to suck the color out of the world and have a big impact on a person’s quality of life, as well as their ability to accomplish everyday tasks.

If you believe you are suffering from depression, please seek appropriate mental health treatment right away. You might also benefit from sleep apnea treatment. Can sleep apnea cause depression? This blog post takes a look at the connection between these conditions.

Sleep Apnea and Depression

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes multiple pauses in breathing throughout the night. These pauses disrupt the sleep cycle and deprive a person of the rest their body needs to function optimally.

A lack of sleep can even adversely affect brain health, including the brain’s ability to regulate emotions. In fact, one study found that nearly half of people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) exhibited depressive symptoms. A separate study found that 14% of those who had been diagnosed with depression also had OSA.

It is also worth noting that OSA is sometimes found in individuals with treatment-resistant depression. It is possible that, in some cases, poor-quality sleep is affecting individuals’ ability to respond well to their depression treatment.

Even in individuals without depression, a lack of high-quality sleep can have significant effects on emotional wellness. People with OSA are often irritable and have trouble concentrating.

What Can You Do?

If you have been diagnosed with depression but have not yet undergone a sleep test, it is worth looking into. A sleep test is completely non-invasive; all you have to do is try to get some shuteye while machines monitor your vital statistics.

If it turns out that you have sleep apnea, you can explore your treatment options. Many patients find that an oral sleep appliance is a comfortable and convenient way to improve the quality of their nightly rest. An appliance slightly repositions the lower jaw to allow for better breathing throughout the night.

Sleep apnea treatment may not cure your depression, but is possible that after a few days or weeks of treatment, you will see improvements in your emotional health.

Depression is a serious condition, and sleep apnea can make it even worse! Trying to get better rest may reduce depressive symptoms and help you to see the brighter side of life.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Kenneth Mogell has more than 10 years of experience in helping patients find freedom from obstructive sleep apnea via the use of custom oral appliances. If you are concerned about how the quality of your sleep might be affecting your emotional health, our team would be happy to guide you in your next steps. Contact any of our locations or call our Boca Raton office at 561-353-5252.