Treating Sleep Apnea Can Improve Your Mental Health
The relationship between your sleep and mental health is important when it comes to tackling your day-to-day life. That’s why at Desert Hills Dental Care, our Farmington, NM dentist Dr. Charles Schumacher informs his patients of the negative effects sleep apnea can have on your mental health. Dr. Schumacher is dedicated to improving the sleep quality of all patients in Bloomfield, Aztec, Upper Fruitland, and the surrounding New Mexico area.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your breathing during sleep is constantly interrupted.. These pauses in breathing, called apneas, can last from a few seconds to several minutes throughout the hour. There’s also evidence to suggest that sleep apnea can have a negative impact on mental health. Patients can experience symptoms such as irritability, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating.
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your mental well-being. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of problems, including:
Sleep helps to consolidate memories and process new information. Without enough sleep, it can be harder to learn new things and remember important details. Regardless of age, memory loss can affect anyone who isn’t getting a sufficient amount of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can make it hard to focus and pay attention, which can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks that require concentration and decision-making skills. When you have a full night’s rest, your brain has time to reset and prepare itself for the next day.
Increased Risk of Mistakes
Lack of sleep can affect your coordination and reaction time, making you more likely to make mistakes. You’re more likely to lose concentration when you’re sleep deprived, resulting in mistakes at work, school, or home.
A lack of sleep can also affect your mood, leading to irritability, anxiety, and even depression. Your peers may notice a difference in your personality and actions throughout the day. It can also worsen any existing mental health conditions.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Daytime and nighttime symptoms vary depending on the case, but both are hard to identify without professional help. Common symptoms include:
- Chronic daytime fatigue
- Loud or disruptive snoring
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Headache upon awakening
- Dry mouth upon awakening
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact our office to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Schumacher. He will help you get the diagnosis and treatment that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes sleep apnea?
Several factors can cause sleep apnea, including obesity, age, family history, and smoking. Sleep apnea can also be caused by structural abnormalities in the airway, such as a small jaw or large tonsils. Consult with a sleep dentist to learn the root cause of your sleep apnea and how to best treat it.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is diagnosed by a sleep specialist or dentist. They’ll review the patient’s medical history, conduct a physical exam, and may order a sleep study. A sleep study is a test that measures brain activity, eye movement, and other bodily functions during sleep. Your sleep specialist will go over the results of your sleep test to determine the best solution for your sleep apnea symptoms.
Can sleep apnea cause anxiety and depression?
There’s evidence to suggest that sleep apnea may be connected with an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. The symptoms of sleep apnea, such as difficulty sleeping and feeling tired during the day, can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. You may also experience worsened symptoms of existing conditions.
Improve Your Mental Health With Dr. Schumacher
Don’t let sleep apnea stand in the way of a good night’s rest. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Schumacher today to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Call our Farmington office at (505) 427-2936 or fill out our online form. We’re looking forward to helping you on your journey to improved mental health and quality sleep.