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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