Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies
Wome sleeping

Sleep apnea, whether we’re talking about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or central sleep apnea (CSA) can cause far more harm than making a person snore or wake up frequently throughout the night. Another selection of side effects can affect a person’s mental and emotional health throughout the day.

For example, sleep apnea disrupts sleep, so during bouts of this condition, a person might wake up a handful of times throughout the night. They may snore until they wake up or awaken from a dead sleep, gasping for air.

The resulting stress these interruptions place on the human body can manifest as excessive daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and struggling with headaches.

In addition, though, sleep apnea can spike blood pressure and induce the production of excess stress hormones within the body. In combination, these side effects can add another: irritability.

Thus, it’s fair to conclude that sleep apnea may very well contribute to or worsen a patient’s existing depressive disorders.

Sleep Apnea and Depression

Not getting enough sleep doesn’t give the body enough time and energy to recover in the way that normal sleep allows. The brain may not receive adequate rest, which leads patients to feel groggy throughout the day. The sleepiness they struggle with, the irritability brought on by blood pressure and stress hormone fluctuations, the headaches, and the difficulty concentrating can add a lot more complexity to everyday life.

For individuals who already have depressive disorders, being tired, irritable, lost in a fatigue fog, and struggling to keep up with daily demands can worsen symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, because sleep apnea interrupts the brain’s resting cycle, it can lead to issues with the brain’s chemical composition and neurotransmitters. Serotonin and dopamine are two hormones in the brain that can either improve or worsen depressive symptoms. When the brain doesn’t rest, it may also struggle to produce enough serotonin or dopamine.

In addition, the excess of stress hormones like cortisol can worsen depression because high cortisol levels make an individual feel constantly on edge and sorrowful for no other reason than poorly performing hormonal regulation.

As such, if you’re dealing with sleep apnea or feel that you may have sleep apnea based on your symptoms, reach out to a dental healthcare provider for an evaluation. If diagnosed, an experienced dentist can help point you in the right direction, toward long-term relief.