According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in America and are the most common mental illness nationally. While they’re treatable, there are a variety of additional factors that play into these conditions including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, life events, and even sleep deprivation. Anxiety disorders also go hand-in-hand with depression. Nearly one half of people that are diagnosed as depressed also have anxiety. Your mental health may be declining because of some things that are out of your control, like sleep apnea. Learn how the two are related and how you may be able to minimize your anxiety by controlling your sleeping condition.
Connecting Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Deprivation
This year, at the annual meeting for the Society for Neuroscience researchers found that in healthy adults, sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of anxiety. These conditions can form a dangerous perpetual cycle. Researcher at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Cliff Saper described this relationship as a “two-way interaction […] the sleep loss makes the anxiety worse, which in turn makes it harder to sleep.”
A study presented at the conference this year observed anxiety levels in 18 healthy people following a night of good rest or staying awake. They had each of the participants take anxiety tests the next morning. Their findings showed that the people whose anxiety levels were 30 percent higher were those who were sleep deprived.
Various studies have also showed a correlation between people with depression and anxiety as well. The chances of getting depression is significantly higher when an anxiety disorder exists. In fact, about half of people with severe depression also have anxiety. This shows that these two mental illnesses can become more prevalent when a person isn’t getting the quality of rest that they need.
What Do The Studies Say?
In a study conducted in 2014, researchers found a clear connection between anxiety, depression, and obstructive sleep apnea. After assessing 178 participants who were diagnosed with OSA using the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory, they found that over half of them were exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It’s clear that a root cause of symptoms of anxiety and depression can be sleep apnea. If you notice that you have chronic snoring or feel fatigued all the time, it’s best to seek a diagnosis from a sleep specialist. Once you’ve completed a sleep study, you can visit a professional to explore different treatment options. Whether you use CPAP therapy or a custom-crafted oral appliance, treating your condition can improve your overall quality of life, including your mental health.
About the Author
Dr. Angela Ruff has called Fayetteville her home for over three decades, which is why she’s so passionate about providing her neighbors and community with the best quality of dental care possible. She completed advanced training during her general practice residency and has a certification in Oral Implantology. She keeps up with the latest advancements in her field so she can improve her patients’ quality of life by using the latest custom-tailored treatments and techniques. For questions or to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea therapy, visit Ascot Aesthetic Implants & Dentistry’s website or call 910-630-6199.