Sleep apnea is correlated with a higher risk of depression or anxiety. Sleep is a time when one should be at peace, so when constant interruptions occur, sleep apneic patients may become anxious about their next sleeping disruption, making their sleep ever more restless and feeding into a vicious cycle. Having a mentally taxing disorder is enough to cause depression, but additionally, the lack of oxygen during the night can alter brain function and further increase the risk of depression.
With sleep deprivation also comes daytime anxiousness. Is it known that sleep deprivation causes in an increased risk for car accidents as well as decreased control over your temper.
Sleep apnea is also known to increase incidents of nightmares, and is said to worsen night terrors as well as PTSD. Many mental health professionals agree that dreams allow one to process events occurring in their present day lived, face stressful scenarios in your mind, and work on your mental goals. Because sleep apnea causes disruptions in the sleep process, they can rarely enter REM sleep, which is required for dreaming.
By: Jennifer LaBombard