If you wake up frequently throughout the night gasping for air and find yourself extremely fatigued in the morning, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is an exhausting condition that affects not only your sleep but your day to day life as well.
Sleep is a vital component to a healthy mind and body, and most people require 7-9 hours each night in order for them to feel rested and ready for the day. Not receiving a sufficient amount of sleep can be frustrating and lead to other conditions.
How Sleep Affects the Brain
If you’ve ever tossed and turned all night resulting in as little as two to three hours of sleep, then you know first hand how lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood the next day. This feeling of exhaustion may make you feel grumpy, confused, or even sad.
Your brain stem sends messages to your body telling it when it should be asleep and when it should be awake. It also communicates with other areas of the brain to control how you sleep during the different stages of sleep. Chemicals released in your brain, such as melatonin and adenosine, affect the quality and pattern of your sleep.
When a person wakes up during the different stages of sleep, this disturbance can hinder the proper amount of chemicals being released from the brain. Since the body needs the proper amount of chemicals to function, an imbalance of them can cause the brain to function differently.
The Correlation Between Sleep Apnea and Mental Health Disorders
Have you ever been so tired that you feel you can’t perform everyday tasks or get anything done at work? People with obstructive sleep apnea feel like this most days due to the frequent disruptions throughout their sleep. Since the chemicals in their brain are imbalanced, they may experience consistent negative feelings and thoughts.
A study was performed on multiple individuals who had been recently diagnosed with a mental disorder. The study found that many of these people also had been diagnosed with sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
People who said they suffered from sleep apnea also suffered from:
- Suicidal thoughts
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea or mental health issues, it’s important that you seek help before the symptoms progress. A full night of sleep works wonders on the body and brain, and Dr. Lauck recommends scheduling a free consultation to see which sleep apnea treatment is best for you.
Once mental disorders are developed, they can be hard to treat on your own. Seeking out a therapist or talking to your local physician for treatment will be most beneficial for you.