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How Sleep Apnea Can Impact Your Moods

You may not imagine that your dentist should be involved in treating your sleep apnea, but Dr. Mark Studer has been instrumental in helping many patients find the best treatment approach. In addition to providing assistance with treatment options, Dr. Studer wants you to understand your condition, and how it affects your life. 

Sleep apnea: Symptoms and causes

If you have sleep apnea, you most likely have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) wherein your airway is blocked while you’re sleeping. This means that you stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Often, snoring is associated with OSA. 

OSA can be a life-threatening condition, and it’s linked to serious health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, eye problems, and excessive fatigue, among others. Some common symptoms include: 

Mood disorders and sleep apnea

Researchers have known for a long time that good sleep helps lower stress, may help you lose weight, and is part of an overall healthy life. However, more recent research has shown that sleep apnea may be related to depression and other mood disorders, as well. 

One recent study followed participants for nine years and found that those with OSA were more likely to develop anxiety disorders than those who didn’t have sleep apnea. Women with OSA were more likely than men to develop mood disorders. 

Overlapping symptoms

Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety have some of the same symptoms as sleep apnea. For example, either condition can make you feel irritable, affect your ability to concentrate, cause headaches, and can lead to an inability to sleep, as well as leave you feeling tired and more fatigued than usual. 

Scientists are learning that some people develop both conditions simultaneously, while others probably experience sleep deprivation due to OSA first, and then develop the mood disorder. The risk of depression or anxiety is amplified in people who have OSA. 

Managing your mood with sleep apnea

It’s entirely possible that effectively treating your sleep apnea will resolve your mood disorder. However, you may also want to try the following coping methods. 

Regular exercise

Exercise is known to help resolve mood disorders. In addition, OSA is often linked to obesity, so exercise may help you lose weight and ease your OSA. 

Don’t drink

Alcohol can worsen both OSA and depression. Avoiding alcohol or limiting it to small amounts on rare occasions could help with both conditions. 

Avoid sleep medications

Sleeping pills don’t help sleep apnea and are associated with worsening depression for some people. It’s much better to treat your sleep apnea with a dental appliance or positive air pressure than to take medications. 

If you have questions about sleep apnea, book an appointment to see Dr. Studer. He can evaluate your situation and offer advice on both getting proper treatment for OSA, living a healthy lifestyle, and how to avoid a mood disorder associated with sleep apnea. 

You can easily book your appointment using our online tool, or you can call us at 817-402-4110 to schedule.

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