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Is Sleep Apnea Causing Your Anxiety?

November 3, 2020

Woman with anxiety and sleep apnea.Research shows at least 18 million Americans live with a disorder called obstructive sleep apnea; however, it’s believed as much as 4% of adults are undiagnosed. It can be difficult to detect because it causes symptoms while you’re sleeping, but there are often signs in other areas of your life as well. In fact, complications of sleep apnea can manifest in many forms, like anxiety. Believe it or not, there is a direct connection between anxiety and sleep apnea. Don’t worry, your sleep specialist can calm your uneasiness and help you sleep better using an effective treatment plan.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the disorder, which causes frequent pauses in breathing while sleeping from an obstruction in the airway. The tissues in the back of the throat or the tongue block the airway, leading to interruptions in breathing that affect your sleep quality, general health, and overall quality of life if not treated.

How is Sleep Apnea Connected to Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body’s response to stress. It’s an emotion that manifests as tension, worried thoughts, increased blood pressure, and even insomnia. Research shows a two-way connection between anxiety and the sleep disorder.

Untreated sleep apnea in Denver can lead to a variety of complications, like insomnia, fatigue, headaches, and depression, which can affect your daily life. It can also impact your life in other areas, like increased anxiety.

During an interruption in breathing, it causes a “panic” signal in the brain, which jerks your body awake to restore an adequate oxygen level. The stress causes a change in your thinking and mood, as well as your blood pressure. When the issue is reoccurring, it can lead to physiological health concerns, like lack of concentration, restlessness, and anxiety.

In addition to sleep apnea triggering anxiety, there is another connection as well. Anxiety can also negatively influence your treatment for sleep apnea in Denver. Anxiety and panic attacks can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest, creating a vicious cycle that can only be interrupted with the right intervention.

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

A sleep specialist can help you stop snoring in Denver and breathe better to calm your nerves. Traditionally, sleep apnea is treated with a CPAP machine; however, many patients prefer an oral appliance. The custom-fit device repositions your jaw and holds your tongue in position to prevent the airway from being obstructed. You can get the rest you need without worrying about tossing and turning all night.

About Dr. Gary Radz

Dr. Radz is a local and international expert for his exceptional academic and clinical excellence. Besides general dentistry, he also specializes in treating sleep apnea. He understands firsthand the complications caused by the disorder, which gives him a deeper insight into his patients’ needs and concerns to create personalized plans with oral appliance therapy. If you’re ready to sleep better and breathe easier, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

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