Anxiety and sleep apnea have been linked in a number of studies. For example, in 2012 a European study found that more than half of sleep apnea patients also “had some degree of depression and anxiety.”
While anxiety and sleep apnea often go hand in hand, it is important to note that it has not been proven that one necessarily causes the other. A University of California – Berkeley researcher said “It’s been hard to tease out whether sleep loss is simply a byproduct of anxiety, or whether sleep disruption causes anxiety.” Eventually it may prove that the link goes both ways.
The connection between anxiety and sleep disorders intrigued Berkeley researchers who hope that treating one condition will influence the other. Their goal was to find the connection between lack of sleep and the increase in brain activity that contributes to excessive worrying and anxiety. The study concluded that experiencing sleep deprivation increased “anticipatory anxiety”.
Dr. Matthew Walker said “These finding help us realize that those people who are anxious by nature are the same people who will suffer the greatest harm from sleep deprivation.” He continued, “By restoring good quality sleep in people suffering from anxiety, we may be able to help ameliorate their excessive worry.”
If the fact that you can’t get used to using your CPAP machine is adding to your anxiety level – relax. An oral appliance can successfully treat mild to serious sleep apnea without the hoses or masks. Our patients find sleeping with an oral appliance comfortable and highly effective.
Please find out more about oral appliances to treat sleep apnea by contacting Columbus sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mark Levy today at 614-476-6696.