A new study performed by the Centers for Disease Control says Sleep Apnea, the condition where sleepers gasp for air and sometimes stop breathing, is linked to depression. Sleep apnea takes place when the breathing of a person stops or is interrupted while the person is sleeping.
These pauses in breathing can last from a second to as long as one minute. They cut off the supply of oxygen from the sleeper’s brain and the other parts of their body. Symptoms of this condition include daytime fatigue, restless sleep and snoring.
The new study analyzed close to 10,000 adults in the U.S. Researchers said they found that the probability of depression in the participants increased at the same time the self-reported stopping of breathing and gasping increased.
Six percent of males and three percent of females that participated in the research said they had been diagnosed with sleep apnea. The other participants said they had not been diagnosed but reported symptoms such as snorting, gasping, daytime fatigue and restless sleeping.
Often times, professionals in the mental health field ask patients who have depression about what their sleeping habits are. There is a known connection between insomnia and depression, but until now, less was known about sleep apnea and depression.
More men have sleep apnea than their counterparts do do. People are at a greater risk of having sleep apnea if they are obese. The additional weight surrounding the neck area may lead to cutting off breathing. Being over 40 and having a larger than normal neck also increased the chance of having the disorder.