Can Sleep Apnea Treatment Help with Anxiety?

woman with anxiety

Who among us has never felt anxious from time to time? For some people, however, anxiety is an ever-present feeling that always seems to hover in the background, affecting everything from our mood to our quality of sleep. In fact, a recent study from the University of California Berkeley found that sleep deprivation in Denver and anxiety were clearly linked. Is sleep apnea treatment the key to dealing with both problems at once? Keep reading to find out.

What Did the Study Find?

In December 2018, researchers revealed that they looked at the anxiety levels in 18 healthy people. Participants took stress tests one morning after either a full night of sleep or a night of staying awake. Those who were sleep deprived were 30 percent more anxious than those who had achieved adequate levels of sleep the night before. On average, the anxiety levels displayed in these participants were on par with those with serious anxiety disorders.  

While people who suffer from anxiety disorders might have trouble sleeping, this study has shown that the reverse is also true. This means that those with chronic anxiety are often stuck in a vicious cycle where anxiety makes it difficult to fall asleep, and the resulting sleep deprivation exacerbates the anxiety.

Are Anxiety and Sleep Apnea Linked?

According to a 2014 study, the anxiety levels of people with obstructive sleep apnea is higher than in the general population regardless of gender. The same can be said for levels of depression as well, since the disorder often coexists with anxiety. Depressive symptoms, such as mood swings, are more common if your sleep is disrupted by something like sleep apnea.

Treatment for sleep apnea, such as oral appliance therapy, may be able to help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. These devices reposition your tongue, jaw, and other soft tissues in your mouth so that these tissues don’t collapse while you’re sleeping and block your airway. They allow you to stop snoring in Denver and restore your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

If you experience symptoms of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring or constant daytime sleepiness, or depression or anxiety, see your dentist or doctor right away. Whether or not sleep apnea is the root cause of your problem, it couldn’t hurt to try out treatment for it to see if it improves the quality of your sleep.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Radz has been consistently recognized by 5280 Magazine as one of Denver’s Top Dentists. He has also been recognized nationally every year since 2004 in Dentistry Today as a Leader in Continuing Education. He has been providing oral appliance therapy to patients with sleep apnea for more than seven years now. If you think you might have sleep apnea and could benefit from oral appliance therapy, click here or call (303) 377-5337 to contact Dr. Radz.

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