More than 25 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, which interrupts a person’s breathing while they sleep.
Sleep apnea has been linked to increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
However all the health risk of untreated sleep apnea isn’t all physical. There have also been studies that suggest if sleep apnea isn’t properly treated, it can increase the risk of depression.
In an interview with FOX 17, Dr. Daniel Herrick, a sleep medicine physician with Spectrum Health Medical Group, talked about the connection between sleep apnea and sleep depression.
Symptoms of depression are extremely common in people who have obstructive sleep apnea. One study suggests that as much as 73 percent of people with sleep apnea also suffer with depression.
People who suffer from sleep apnea related depression will have all the symptoms of sleep apnea like snoring, gasping, stopping breathing, and feeling tired or having little energy. However, they’ll also have symptoms that come with depression such as feelings of hopelessness, feeling like a failure, loss of appetite, irritability, restless sleep and excessive sleepiness.
The best way to treat sleep apnea is to talk with a health care provider, and get tested for the appropriate treatments.