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Anxiety and Depression :: Anxiety Depression Disorder and Sleep Treatment

Can Anxiety and Depression Disorders be Helped with Sleep Treatment?

Do you currently suffer from anxiety and depression or other mental disorders? How well are you sleeping at night? Frequently, patients who have anxiety and depression or other mental disorders report having trouble sleeping or staying asleep at night. Is there any relationship between sleep, anxiety, and depression? Can treatment for sleep disorders improve symptoms of anxiety and depression?

Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression have been linked to sleep apnea and insomnia. This is not to say that all patients with sleep apnea or insomnia currently are dealing with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Also, a sleep disorder is not a direct indicator of a mental disorder in the future.

One study that began in the 1980's did denote a relationship between insomnia and depression and anxiety. In the patients studied, the group who dealt with insomnia in the beginning of the study had trouble 11 years later. A good night's sleep does affect mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Sleep apnea patients are also linked to anxiety and depression. Sleep apnea describes a condition where a person stops breathing temporarily during sleep. When the breathing is interrupted for ten seconds or more, oxygen levels decrease dramatically. Obstructive sleep apnea, also called OSA, is a sleep disorder that has been linked to anxiety and depression. OSA occurs when the upper airway is blocked by tissues in the back of the throat, yet abdominal and chest movements continue to occur. It is typically a disorder characterized by snoring and a feeling of sleepiness during the daytime hours.

Patients suffering from OSA will have numerous symptoms such as irritability, trouble concentrating, and cognitive impairment. These symptoms arise due to the disruptions in sleep patterns with this disorder. Some patients with OSA sleep disorder may awaken several times a night. They will be unaware of this in the morning, but their mood will reflect the disruption in ways that manifest with similar symptoms to anxiety disorder and depression. Changes in mood and activities in the patient are due to the altered sleep patterns. Patients with this sleep disorder are unable to achieve the deep levels of sleep typically seen in healthy patients.

Depression occurs in patients with OSA more frequently than in the general population. In one study, nearly a quarter of male participants with OSA sleep disorder described themselves as depressed. On the other hand, more than half of the participants in the study exhibited signs of depression. If you are exhibiting anxiety and depression treatments, you may want to speak to your doctor about any medical conditions that may be underlying such as a sleep disorder.

There is hope for patients suffering from OSA sleep disorder and anxiety and depression. Correcting the sleep disorder is a very attainable goal. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can decrease when patients undergo treatment for the sleep disorder. Some patients must wear a mouthpiece to help alleviate the obstruction of the airway during sleep. Others require a special mask that forces air into the airways to disrupt the sleep apnea. Surgery, such as tonsillectomy, may be performed to open the airways.

Patients originally showing symptoms of anxiety and depression scored better results after proper treatment for OSA sleep disorder. The improved symptoms for anxiety and depression were related to the return of deep sleep in the patient's sleep cycles. The method of treatment for the OSA sleep disorder does not seem to alter the improvement of anxiety and depression symptoms.

If you suffer from both OSA sleep disorder and anxiety and depression symptoms, chances are high that sleep will improve with proper treatment of OSA. As your sleep patterns improve with treatment, your anxiety and depression symptoms will show dramatic improvement. Talk to your doctor about the link between your sleep disorder and the symptoms you experience for anxiety and depression. It is always best to tell your doctor about other health conditions. OSA may be an underlying cause of your anxiety and depression that can be treated effectively by controlling the sleep apnea. Treatment of the sleep disorder may lower your need for treatment of anxiety and depression.

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