Sleep apnea is found to be linked to depression; Research


Researchers have found that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at greater risk of major depression.

This research has been conducted by researchers from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appears in the April issue of the journal SLEEP.

Sleep apnea[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /] Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2005 to 2008 in 9714 American people and have found that sleep disorder results in depression regardless of factors like weight, age, gender and race.

“Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure,” said Anne G. Wheaton, PhD, an epidemiologist with CDC and lead author of the study. “We expected persons with sleep-disordered breathing to report trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or feeling tired and having little energy, but not the other symptoms.”

They have found that the chances of depression are double in men, who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, than in men without the disturbance of sleep apnea. On the other hand, women with sleep apnea have five times more chances of depression than women without sleep apnea.

“Episodic hypoxia from [obstructive sleep apnea] has been linked to altered neuronal activity and decreased gray and white matter in the brain, possibly through induction of oxidative stress, inflammation, or endoplasmic reticulum stress,” authors have reported.

“Sleep is essential and healthy sleep should be as important as healthy nutrition, physical activity, and smoking cessation in promoting overall health,” Wheaton and colleagues concluded.


Wheaton A, et al, (2012). Sleep disordered breathing and depression among U.S. adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. Sleep, 35: 1-7.

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One thought on “Sleep apnea is found to be linked to depression; Research

  • March 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Before I took psychology this year, I had a friend who’s dad slept with one
    of those masks and I never knew what it was until this year. I just knew that
    he called it his Darth Vador mask and that he had a hard time breathing. After
    learning a little more about sleep apnea in class, I can say I strongly believe
    in this article and experiment because my friends dad had depression and I
    think that his sleep apnea had some kind of cause to it. I think its true
    because when you have sleep apnea it disrupts the quality and quantity of a
    persons sleep, causing daytime grogginess, poor concentration, memory and
    learning problems and irritability and in my opinion, I know if I had these
    problems it would cause me to be depressed too. That’s why I believe in this


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