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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Depression

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Why Sleep Deprivation Alleviates Depression In Some People

Does Insomnia Cause Depression, ADHD or PTSD? Pt.2

Ever since Vogels studies in the 1970s it has been known that acute sleep deprivation, particularly deprivation of REM sleep, produces a positive effect on people with depression. The extremely depressed person feels much better if he goes without REM sleep for a night or two. The suicidally depressed patient may forget the idea of suicide for a few hours or days if he is deprived of REM for a night or two. These basic observations have been confirmed many times since the 1970s but the question as to how REM deprivation helps depression has been left unanswered.

Despite the dramatic beneficial effects on serious depression we still have no idea as to why REM deprivation alleviates, at least temporarily, major depression. This is a very surprising fact. You would think that any clue or lead on what kinds of treatment work for major depression would be followed up on with major pushes in the research arena backed up by major funding streams from the National Institutes of Health. But the voices of depressed people, apparently, are not as loud as the voices of other health-related interest groups so funding for depression studies has never been adequate to the scale fo the problem.

A recent study, however, has managed to throw some fascinating light on the relations between acute sleep deprivation and alleviation of depression.

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Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Sleep Apnea And Increased Depression Risk

  • People with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder may also be more likely to have apnea, according to a study published in February 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
  • Frequent snoring and pauses in breathing are associated with a greater likelihood of depression, according to a study published in April 2012 in the journal Sleep. The risk of depression was significantly higher for people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Among adults with obstructive sleep apnea, 53.9 percent and 46.1 percent of them have some degree of anxiety or depression, respectively, according to a study published in March 2014 in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.
  • As many as 14 percent of suicidal adults with major depressive disorder were found to have obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study published in September 2019 in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Relaxation Music For Sleep Stress And Anxiety Relief

Music therapy uses sound and rhythm to reduce stress and increase anxiety relief. For people who have problems with sleeping and sleep apnea stress, listening to relaxation music for sleep stress and anxiety relief is helpful.

Relaxation music for sleep stress and anxiety relief stimulates the limbic system. This is the central station in the brain for our feelings. People listening to classical music did recreate the structure and meaning of the music in their limbic systems. At the same time, the limbic regions release dopamine when listening to music, which is known as the happiness hormone.

Relaxing music is what makes us feel at home before sleeping. We can also affect our well being with the help of the right environment. We have a way to create the perfect home environment for sleep through music.

Mediation music for meditation practice may also help you reduce stress and fall asleep. It can serve to neutralize external disturbing sound sources. It can also help to let go of thoughts and worries while concentrating on the sounds during your meditation sessions before bedtime.

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Whats The Link Between Sleep Disorders And Depression

An inability to sleep is one of the key signs of clinical depression. Another sign of clinical depression is sleeping too much or oversleeping.

Having a sleep disorder does not in itself cause depression, but lack of sleep does play a role. Lack of sleep caused by another medical condition, a sleep disorder, or personal problems can make depression worse. An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed.

How Is Depression Treated

Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Increase Depression Risk?

While depression can have dramatic effects on a persons sleep and overall quality of life, it can be treated. After working with a doctor or mental health provider to understand the type and severity of depression, treatment may include:

  • Counseling: Depression can be treated effectively with several types of counseling, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy . CBT for insomnia is a type of CBT that focuses on managing chronic insomnia.
  • Medications: Antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression. These prescription medications usually take time before they begin to improve symptoms and patients may need to try several antidepressants before finding the right fit. A doctor or psychiatrist can discuss the appropriateness of these medications and recommend a specific type.
  • Brain stimulation therapies: When medications and other approaches are not effective, some people with depression consider electroconvulsive therapy or other, more recent types of brain stimulation like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation . These treatments can be effective but are only provided under the guidance of a trained professional.

Treatment often isnt limited to just one of these approaches in fact, combining medication and psychotherapy has shown higher rates of improvement than one approach alone.

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Lack Of Sleep And Your Thought Process

Sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to think and concentrate. People who dont get enough sleep are more likely to become forgetful and have trouble making decisions. They may be less productive at work or school. Slower reaction times can impact coordination and increase the risk of accidents.

How Does Depression Affect Your Sleep

Thereâs been an increasing focus on mental health during the past few years and not without good reason:

  • In the UK, one in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem each year in England alone
  • One in six people will be unfortunate enough for that problem to be depression, anxiety or a combination of the two1.

The impact of these disorders can be crippling, with the adverse effects impacting upon every aspect of daily life.

Therefore, if youâre reading this and think you may be suffering from depression or anxiety, we urge you to seek help as soon as possible here

Sleep is just one of the aspects of your life affected by depression.

As we know from the literature, the extensive number of articles on the subject and relevant websites, a good nightâs sleep benefits health, mental ability and mood. This means that:

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Recognizing Sleep Deprivation In Teens

Here are a few common signs to watch for that might indicate that your teen is not getting enough sleep.

  • Having trouble waking up most mornings
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Light exposure from screens that cues the brain to stay awake.

Almost all teenagers, as they reach puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep. Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, PhD, leading sleep expert

What Are The Types Of Depressive Disorders

Snoring Sleep Apnea and Depression

Significant feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in their normal daily activities are common in all depressive disorders. Specific forms of depression vary based on the severity of symptoms and the situation in which they develop.

The most well-known type is major depressive disorder, and it is marked by symptoms that affect a person virtually every day for an extended period of time. It commonly involves sleep disruptions.

Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia or chronic depression, may involve fewer symptoms than major depression, but symptoms last for at least two years and any symptom-free period lasts no longer than two months.

Other types of depression, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder and seasonal affective disorder tend to come and go over shorter periods but can also involve significant sleeping problems.

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Central Sleep Apnea Causes

There are two types of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when someone stops breathing while sleeping because there is an issue with the signal to breathe. A healthy central nervous system automatically sends signals to breathe as needed. This is why we dont need to consciously control our breathing.

Central sleep apnea can involve a problem with the generation of this signal, or with the actual conveyance of the signal. Central sleep apnea causes that can cause the breathing signal to not be generated include trauma to the areas that create the signals, acute opioid usage, and complications from obesity.

Central sleep apnea can also happen when the signal to breathe is unable to travel from the brain to the diaphragm, the primary muscle involved in breathing. Damage to the phrenic nerve, which exits the spinal cord in the middle of the neck before travelling to the chest, can result in the inability to breathe. There can also be issues with the junction between the nerves that carry the signal and the muscles that are meant to respond to the signal.2

Take Sleep Problems Seriously

You should tell your doctor if you:

  • have trouble falling or staying asleep
  • feel tired during the day
  • have physical pain, discomfort or other complaints that prevent you from getting a good nights sleep

Treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and continuous positive airway pressure devices for apnea can restore good sleep, helping you sidestep related conditions like depression.

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Pharmacological Treatment Of Depression: An Overview

Drugs designed to treat MDD are mainly MAO Inhibitors, SSRI, and tricyclicantidepressants .Antidepressants are significantly used to treat MDD . SSRI such as Vortioxetine improves cognitiveunctioning in MDD Patients . Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are also used to treat MDD . In MDD, SNRI-such as duloxetine can also be safely used, alongwith associated CVD . ForMDD associated with CVD, selective and reversible monoamine inhibitors are alsocommonly used drugs for treatment SRI and serotonin reuptake inhibitors are also commonlyused drugs for the treatment of MDD .

What Does The Research Say

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Are you ready for a shocking statistic? According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a whopping 70% of patients with sleep apnea experience symptoms of depression. Plus, subsequent research found that insomnia related to conditions like sleep apnea had the largest connection to depression. While the exact causality of the relationship is still being studied extensively, experts have decades of research supporting the link between lack of sleep and mood. With this in mind, it is important for patients with sleep apnea to be aware of symptoms of depression.

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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Panic Attacks

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which is characterized by hypopnea. This is a decrease in breathing during sleep or apnea which is a pause in breathing during ones sleep. This is a very serious condition and it can lead to a lot of different health complications including death.

    Some patients with sleep apnea may have mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety or panic disorders. During sleep apnea, the brain receives a panic signal which jerks the body awake and helps you resume breathing. This leads to broken sleep.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Depression

    The symptoms of depression can include physical changes as well as changes in moods and thoughts that interfere with normal daily activities. Symptoms may include:

    • Persistent sad, low, or irritable mood
    • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
    • Insomnia, waking up too early, or oversleeping
    • Low appetite or overeating
    • Thoughts of death or suicide

    Depression is more common in women and there may be differences in the symptoms of depression based on sex and age. Men often experience symptoms such as irritability and anger, whereas women more frequently experience sadness and guilt. Adolescents with depression may be irritable and have trouble in school, and younger children may pretend to be sick or worry that a parent may die.

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    Is Sleep Apnea Related To Depression

    Sleep apnea is associated with many serious conditions, including depression. Millions of people suffer from this life-threatening condition, which may be linked with untreated sleep apnea. Although the sleep apnea depression link is complex, its thought that people with depression may be more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea , the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing.

    It can be challenging to get a proper diagnosis since sleep apnea and depression share common symptoms like fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, sexual dysfunction and loss of interest in hobbies or activities. Depression may cause sleep apnea symptoms to surface and sleep apnea could also contribute to or worsen depressive symptoms. Because each person is different, some people might notice symptoms of depression before they notice that theyre having symptoms specific to sleep apnea like loud snoring or nighttime gasping and choking. If you are having any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away and ask to be screened for sleep apnea.

    This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

    Can Sleep Deprivation Cure Depression


    It seems pretty likely that sleep deprivation could significantly increase your chances of suffering from depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues.

    However, theres also another school of thought emerging in this landscape too. In the story of sleep deprivation and depression, scientists are looking into whether one could actually help the other.

    When you consider the fact that depression is often linked to disrupted sleep cycles, and that sleep problems can raise your chances of depression, its hard to imagine how reducing your sleep would be a positive thing.

    However, researchers are beginning to see again and again that sleep restriction therapy may be beneficial for both insomnia and depression.

    According to a massive new meta-analysis, published through the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, it could be a good idea to suggest sleep deprivation as an acute treatment for depression.

    The study looked at 2,000 pieces of research on the topic and learned that the overall response to sleep deprivation was a 45% improvement in depression.

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    Lack Of Sleep Causing Depression

    If you didnt sleep well last night, you may find yourself irritable and grumpy today, but if youre someone who has suffered from insomnia and disrupted sleep for months, years or decades, the compounded sleeplessness may take an even greater toll on your overall mood and mental health. When you dont get the 8 hours of restful sleep you need, it can impact your whole outlook on life as well as your emotions and feelings of happiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the link between sleep and mental health has been seen time and again by researchers and doctors.

    Do The Effects Of Sleep Apnea And Depression Overlap

    While certain symptoms are unique to sleep apnea, snorting, choking, or gasping, some symptoms of depression overlap with symptoms of sleep apnea. This means that in addition to understanding some of the potential indicators of depression, its important to talk to your doctor for them to carefully evaluate whether you may also be experiencing sleep apnea symptoms as well. Below are some sleep apnea side effects that are also common symptoms of depression:

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    What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that prevents you from breathing normally when you are asleep. OSA is caused by the muscles in your throat periodically closing during sleep. This might cause your breathing to become very shallow, or for your breathing to stop for short periods of time. These changes in your breathing could wake you up or be noticeable to someone in the same room. However, many people with obstructive sleep apnea dont notice their breathing cessations.

    There are several types of sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, with over 18 million cases in just the U.S. Some experts estimate that the actual number of cases in the U.S. is much higher, closer to 22 million individuals, as OSA frequently goes either undetected or gets misdiagnosed. The definitive diagnostic tool for determining the presence of sleep apnea is a sleep study.

    People with obstructive sleep apnea may experience the following symptoms:

    • Difficulty concentrating and/or remembering
    • Jolting awake and feeling short of breath
    • Sweating at night
    • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
    • Irritability
    • Grinding teeth at night
    • Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep

    OSA can also lead to a number of more serious conditions, including chronic heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and high blood pressure.

    Other Tips To Manage Your Sleep Apnea And Related Depression And Anxiety

    Poor Sleep Quality

    Your doctor and mental health professional may also recommend a combination of psychotherapy and medication to manage your depression symptoms, according to the NSF. But if you have sleep apnea, you should avoid sedating medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants, which may make apnea worse, according to the NSF.

    Your mental healthcare provider may also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves targeting the thoughts that lead to depressive feelings and changing the behaviors that may make depression worse, according to the NSF.

    Other lifestyle habits that can ease the symptoms of sleep apnea and depression include:

    • Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and waking up around the same time each day
    • Seeking out sunlight
    • Avoiding too much caffeine or alcohol
    • Asking friends and family for support

    Its true that sleep apnea and depression can be difficult to manage. But the good news is that with the right sleep apnea treatment and, if necessary, depression or anxiety treatments both conditions should improve.

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