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Depression and poor quality sleep

Feeling blue? Depression and poor quality sleep can be connected

If you are suffering from feelings of depression, there could be a link between them and the quality of your sleep. If you have symptoms like snoring, gasping and short pauses in breathing while you sleep, you could have what experts call sleep disordered breathing.

There is a link between sleep and depression. Healthy sleep is important for both your physical and your emotional well-being. When it is impaired, sleep deprivation can be the result.

Understanding depression

Everyone feels sad at some time or another. While we are usually aware of the reason for our depressed mood, sometimes we feel sad for no apparent reason, but this is not necessarily clinical depression. Symptoms of clinical depression are depressed moods that:

  1. last for an unusually long period of time
  2. interfere with your daily tasks
  3. have physical symptoms like fatigue, trouble concentrating or persistent headaches.

How does sleep apnea contribute to depression?

Sleep apnea is a physical problem that interrupts your sleep. It’s caused when your airways become blocked by your throat tissues, which stops you from breathing. To keep the vital flow of oxygen to your body, your brain awakens you very briefly to resume breathing. These short apneic events can occur dozens of times each night, leading to sleep disturbances that can cause chronic fatigue. 

Healthy, unimpaired sleep is important for healthy brain function. Without the benefits of s solid night’s sleep you can be at a greater risk of depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Can treating sleep apnea ease depression?

Sleep disorders can share many symptoms with depression. This is why it can be difficult to determine if a sleep disorder is causing depression, or if depression is causing sleep problems.

While depression is a serious condition that often requires specific treatment, if sleep apnea is contributing to depressive symptoms, sleep apnea treatment could help. Sleep apnea treatment is also important to maintain healthy levels of oxygen during sleep.

Sleep apnea is most often treated with CPAP, a machine that keeps your airway open while you sleep through the use of a facial mask that covers the nose. In some cases, an alternative sleep apnea treatment option is a dental appliance that is custom fit to your mouth to move your jaw into its most optimal position to keep your airways open. Some people find this to be a more comfortable option than CPAP.

Learn more

If you would like to learn more about the link between depression and sleep, or if you would like to talk about dental sleep apnea treatment options, please contact us for a consultation.

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