The Links Between Sleep Apnea & Mental Health
Waking up feeling well-rested is the key to beginning the day happier. Unfortunately, obstructive sleep apnea makes it hard to feel well-rested because the disorder keeps your brain from staying asleep throughout the night. Studies show that many people who experience sleep apnea find the symptoms disrupt their mental health and emotional resiliency.
Sleep apnea can cause depression if your symptoms wake you during your sleep phases. When your sleep cycle hasn’t been completed, your body isn’t restoring itself to its full potential.
How Sleep Deprivation Changes Your Brain
While sleep deprivation is a symptom of depression, a lack of sleep can also cause depression. Changes in your sleep cycle throw off your circadian rhythm, which keeps you awake and alert during the day and allows your body to relax at night.
Many of the symptoms of sleep deprivation mirror depression, such as:
- Daytime exhaustion
- Changes in sleep rhythm (i.e., not being tired at night, waking up too early, falling asleep during the day)
- Changes in mood-regulating chemicals produced in the brain
The Restorative Powers of Sleep
Your brain repairs itself during cycles of four distinct and important sleep phases.
- Stage one: your body and mind slow down from daytime activity levels
- Stage two: your brain and body are deeper in sleep, with even less muscle and brain activity
- Stage three: brainwaves almost completely cease, which is vital for feeling rested
- Stage four: rapid eye motion (REM) sleep increases brain activity and activates the brain’s logic system
REM Sleep Regulates Emotions
Uninterrupted REM sleep leaves you less vulnerable to depression.
REM sleep is particularly important for rationalizing feelings. Your mind restores and processes experiences and turns them into memories during this stage. Completed REM sleep can improve the quality of your decision-making and emotional responses.
How Treatment Can Help
Many people find CPAP alternatives have improved their mental health. While lifestyle choices like eating healthier and exercising can also help, professional treatment from Dr. Bayless makes sleeping simpler.
If the CPAP machine isn’t working for you, don’t worry — it isn’t the only solution. Several methods are available in Dr. Bayless’s office for restful nights and wakeful days.
Dr. Bayless is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine whose sleep apnea treatments enhance all parts of life. Our patients have experienced a better mood, more energy, and restored relationships with their partners after treatment.
If you’re concerned about treatment cost, our easy and affordable financing options make finding sleep apnea solutions stress-free.
Sleeping better creates soundness of mind. With the help of our non-invasive CPAP alternatives, Dr. Bayless can give you the freedom to sleep soundly again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sleep apnea cause depression?
Sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation. If left untreated, your sleep cycle will fall out of balance and interfere with your emotions, memory, and energy levels. These are all symptoms that are associated with depression and other mental health issues.
Is sleep apnea linked to depression?
Studies show that a large portion of people who experience sleep apnea also experience depression. Statistically, mental health issues are more common in people who have sleep apnea. However, implementing professional treatment options and other healthy habits into your lifestyle can change how you sleep — and your mood when you’re awake.
Discover How Dr. Bayless Can Help
If you’re ready to conquer your sleep apnea, give us a call at (830) 632-2112 to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Bayless. We’ll take the time to understand your individual case to determine the best solution for you. It’s time to get a better night’s rest.