Is sleep apnea related to depression?

Sleep apnea is associated with many serious conditions, including depression. Millions of people suffer from this life-threatening condition, which may be linked with untreated sleep apnea. Although the sleep apnea depression link is complex, it’s thought that people with depression may be more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing.

It can be challenging to get a proper diagnosis since sleep apnea and depression share common symptoms like fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, sexual dysfunction and loss of interest in hobbies or activities. Depression may cause sleep apnea symptoms to surface and sleep apnea could also contribute to or worsen depressive symptoms. Because each person is different, some people might notice symptoms of depression before they notice that they’re having symptoms specific to sleep apnea like loud snoring or nighttime gasping and choking. If you are having any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away and ask to be screened for sleep apnea.

If your doctor feels sleep apnea could be the issue, they will refer you to a sleep specialist for a sleep study, either in a sleep lab or even in your own home. During the test, sensors will collect your sleep data, and a sleep specialist will analyze this data to determine whether you need to proceed with sleep apnea treatment. If so, they will help you select the best treatment option.

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

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