Sleep Deprivation Takes a Toll
If you’ve ever tossed and turned at night, it’s likely you’ve experienced irritability, grogginess, and fatigue the following morning. Lack of sleep can make it difficult to function properly, making everyday tasks more challenging.
Frequent sleep deprivation can be especially damaging for people suffering from sleep-related problems and a mental health disorder. It can take a toll on your state of mind and influence psychological symptoms, like memory problems, managing emotions, depression, and more.
Fortunately, the relationship between mental health and sleep can be beneficial when managed properly. Learn more about the connection between mental and physical health, and how it can help improve the quality of your life.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are three different types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. However, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form where the throat muscles relax while you sleep, blocking the airway and causing shortness of breath.
The interruption in your breathing signals your brain to wake your body up, gasping for air. This often causes fatigue, headaches, and irritation the following morning. Sleep apnea can result in serious health problems, like stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Connecting Sleep Apnea and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Signs of PTSD include flashbacks, frightening thoughts, difficulty sleeping, and nightmares of the incident⎼ two of which are sleep-related problems characterized by insomnia.
More than half of veterans with PTSD were at high risk for OSA, according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The study also found that the likelihood of sleep apnea increases with the severity of their PTSD symptoms. In addition, sleep deprivation can impact the recovery and processing of traumatic memories in people with PTSD.
Sleep apnea and PTSD are two completely different, complex conditions. which is why their connection is not fully understood. However, what we do know is, both conditions are shared by many patients and have serious effects on the body⎼ both mentally and physically.
Treatment Helps Both Conditions
Though the connection is unclear, both disorders affect each other and often result in additional or worsening symptoms. Treatment of sleep apnea has been found to significantly improve quality of sleep and overall PTSD severity.
Typically, the first prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This method uses a mask that’s worn around your nose and mouth each night, which can cause claustrophobia in people affected by PTSD. As an alternative, oral appliances for sleep apnea are comfortable, removable, silent, and easy-to-use.
Dr. Rebecca Lauck Can Help You
Finding the right treatment for your condition doesn’t have to be challenging. Dr. Rebecca Lauck will take the time to understand your symptoms and determine a solution that works best for you. Our practice offers several sleep apnea treatments, including CPAP and oral appliances, to help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of sleep.
To learn more about our sleep solutions, give us a call at (817) 431-6764 and we’ll schedule your consultation with Dr. Lauck. We look forward to hearing from you!