Damaging Effects of Sleep Deprivation
More than 50 million Americans suffer from one or several sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which affects 25 million U.S. adults. Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that causes frequent interruptions each night due to a blockage in the airway. When you can’t breathe, the brain signals your body to awaken and gasp for air.
Though most patients don’t remember waking up, this recurring disturbance can result in sleep deprivation. Losing sleep often leads to irritability and fatigue the next day, challenging your ability to function normally. If you suffer from sleep apnea, this is an everyday battle that can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Brain
Waking up multiple times at night interrupts your REM sleep cycle. During this stage, your brain is highly active and sends important messages to your body for processing. These messages contribute to your body’s functions, which impacts your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Losing necessary hours of sleep affects your body’s ability to perform correctly. Untreated sleep apnea can impact your ability to concentrate on simple tasks or process new information. It can also affect your work performance, and as a result, increase your risk of unemployment.
During your REM sleep cycle, your brain releases emotion-regulating chemicals that help you stay calm and level-headed throughout the day. Sleep deprivation causes a chemical imbalance in your brain, making it difficult to control your emotions.
Lack of sleep can impair your ability to recollect past memories, as well as present and future events. Since the brain isn’t able to process information correctly, it’s likely you’ll struggle to remember important dates, things people said, previous conversations, and more.
Depression, Anxiety & More
Research has shown a strong correlation between depression and sleep apnea. It’s common for patients with depression to experience sleep problems. Generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder are several other mental health issues also associated with sleep apnea.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re feeling constantly fatigued, having trouble concentrating, and experiencing mental health issues, obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause. Luckily, Dr. Argyle provides oral appliance therapy, an effective and comfortable way to combat sleep apnea. Custom made for your mouth, oral appliances provide patients with a more convenient and quiet solution for their condition.
Contact our office in Syracuse, UT at (801) 416-3562 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Argyle. He’ll evaluate your symptoms and may suggest taking a sleep test to better decide on the best treatment for your unique condition. When it comes to your health, Dr. Argyle will make sure you receive the personalized care you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does sleep apnea really affect your mental health?
Unfortunately, a body of research has linked sleep apnea to depression, as well as anxiety disorders including PTSD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The type of sleep you’re getting is closely related to your mental health. It can be difficult to get the right diagnosis for your sleep disorder because many psychological conditions share common symptoms with sleep apnea.
Can sleep apnea cause anxiety?
Losing sleep creates a deficit in your sleep bank, which makes it difficult to handle stressful situations and result in anxiety.
While there’s a definite connection between sleep apnea and anxiety, it’s unclear whether the loss of sleep is causing anxiety or anxiety that is causing the disorder. It may also be a two-way connection⎼ those who suffer from anxiety may have a higher risk for developing a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.