At some time or another, we all feel a little down and a bit blue, not wanting to face the day. This can be normal, but when these feelings continue, and feelings of unhappiness are amplified for a prolonged period, you may be experiencing early stages of depression.
Symptoms of depression are heightened by a lack of sleep, interfering with your daily life and affecting relationships. Although depression may not be directly caused by a lack of sleep, not getting enough sleep can fuel your depression, making it even worse. For some sufferers, treating their lack of sleep could greatly improve, or even relieve, their depressive symptoms.
Reports have shown that people who suffer from a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea are at greater risk of developing depression. In which case, the more severe the sleep disorders, the greater the risk of depression. Studies have also shown that people who suffer from depression are five times more likely to develop a breathing-related sleep disorder as compared to those people not suffering from depression.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Also referred to as OSA, this sleep breathing disorder restricts oxygen from flowing through the airway properly while sleeping. This often results in loud gasps or snoring while asleep. You may be completely unaware that you suffer from this condition, other than the daytime symptoms that you experience. Most often, the primary symptom is chronic fatigue.
Who is at risk for obstructive sleep apnea?
Used to, middle-aged, overweight men were known to have the greatest risk factor for OSA. However, that statistic is changing. Men and woman of any age and health status can develop this silent killer. Even children are known to develop sleep breathing disorders.
The link between sleep and depression
A lack of sleep can take a significant toll on one’s body, even to the extent of leading to depression. Likewise, someone already suffering from depression may begin experiencing sleep apnea symptoms due to the relentless side effects of their depression medication.
A common solution to treating depression is to treat symptoms with medication, such as an antidepressant. Ironically, some antidepressants interfere with deep, REM, sleep. Some antidepressants may even cause the onset of sleep disorders. Although medications can help with depressive symptoms, they may contribute to sleep disorders. That is where we can help. At Wall Street Dentistry we not only diagnose but treat sleep disorders too. Our oral repositioning devices allow for adequate airflow during your sleep. Although treating sleep apnea is not a cure for depression, it can certainly help you feel better rested, which may also help reduce your depressive symptoms.
If you suffer from depression or believe that you may have obstructive sleep apnea, and it is interfering with your life, please contact Wall Street Dentistry. Our comprehensive examination of your airway and a sleep study can help us determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, the severity of your sleep breathing disorder, and allow us to effective treat it.
To schedule your sleep apnea evaluation, contact Wall Street Dentistry today by calling (256) 878-0525. We welcome patients of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.