Did You Know That Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your General and Mental Health?

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Most people are familiar with the effect of the sleep disorder called sleep apnea on one’s general health. But did you know it can also have a profound impact on your mental health as well? 

Sleep apnea is a condition that has you stop breathing for short spurts while you sleep. It is typically caused by the soft tissues or muscles in the throat collapsing and blocking the airway so that you wake up to reopen your airway. You might have sleep apnea if you notice the following:

  • Daytime drowsiness no matter how many hours you slept
  • Irritability 
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry, scratchy or sore throat
  • Chronic morning headaches

Unfortunately, this disorder leaves you feeling lethargic throughout your day, and over time, your psychological and mental health will pay the price. Recent studies are showing that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders can increase your risk of psychiatric disorders and common personality traits.

Sleep Apnea’s Effects on Personality 

  • Inactivity
  • No energy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of guilt and pessimism
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

Sleep apnea prevents you from attaining that vital nightly deep sleep state and you can end up with mood swings and constant fatigue. In fact, chronic obstructive sleep apnea leaves adults experiencing that of those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. This means having trouble focusing your attention, making impulsive decisions, and displaying hyperactivity. 

Psychological Effects of Sleep Apnea

Patients who don’t get proper sleep from untreated sleep apnea may start to experience hallucinations and see or hear things that aren’t there. Thanks to the sleep deprivation, you can then find yourself with the following:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • PTSD
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Impulsive behaviors

Benefits of Sleep Apnea Screening and Treatment

If you find yourself experiencing the effects of sleep apnea, our team welcomes you to opt for our sleep apnea screening. This simple screening helps us find out if you are experiencing sleep apnea as well as what symptoms you are exhibiting. Once screening has been done, you can start your sleep apnea treatment! You deserve a healthy night’s sleep so you can wake up with the energy you need throughout your day. Feeling alert during the day is just one of the benefits of a good night’s sleep as you can lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

How Sierra Oaks Dental Can Help

We understand the importance of a good night’s sleep for your health and wellbeing! Our Sierra Oaks Dental team can screen for OSA for those as young as 8 years old. You will still need to be diagnosed by a sleep physician and we are happy to make recommendations. We welcome you to call (916) 481-2000 to schedule a  sleep apnea screening in Sacramento, California, for patients aged 8 and older. There is help for you or someone in your family who has trouble getting a proper night’s rest. Dr. Peter Kim, Dr. William Altig or Dr. Eric Gregg are here to help!