Depression can be directly linked to sleep apnea. Those who suffer sleepless nights know the lack of sleep can affect your mental health immensely.
Even without having sleep apnea, there are many people who suffer from insomnia and many more Americans who do not get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Add the inconvenience of wearing either a mouthpiece or CPAP device while sleeping and it’s easy to imagine why so many struggle to get a decent night’s sleep..
How Are Depression and Sleep Connected?
According to the Sleep Foundation, depression and sleep have a bidirectional relationship, which means that not getting enough sleep can contribute to developing depression, and having depression can cause a person to develop sleeping issues. If you have one, it can cause you to develop the other. Adding sleep apnea to the mix can cause these symptoms to be even worse.
When to Get Help
It may be overwhelming to know when to get help. Should you seek treatment for your depression first or is your sleep apnea the more urgent need?
Recent studies have shown that depressed patients who experience insomnia are not as likely to respond to treatment as those without sleep issues. In short, help for your sleep issues should be sought as soon as possible.
Other than getting professional help, there are some basic lifestyle changes you can make to improve your symptoms along with any other treatments you receive:
Alcohol and Nicotine: Alcohol depresses the nervous system which may make you fall asleep at first, but the effects will eventually wear off, causing you to wake back up. Nicotine is a stimulant, which will speed up your heart rate and brain. Avoiding these before bedtime or preferably altogether can improve your sleep.
Sleep hygiene: This is a term used to include tips like waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday, only using the bedroom for sleep, and not watching TV before you go to bed. Staying awake longer and breaking up the day with more activities can also help.
The Bottom Line
You should definitely see a doctor if you are struggling with depression. It’s not easy to live with both depression and sleep apnea, but there are treatments available for both conditions that will coincide to offer a healthier and happier life.
If you are interested in finding out more about how sleep apnea can lead to, and feed depression, contact our sleep apnea dental office in Glen Burnie today to schedule a consultation.