Blogger Widgets When My Life Becomes a Book: Sleep-disordered breathing

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sleep-disordered breathing

A Natural Remedy for Depression - Alleviating Sleep Apnea?

Could correcting sleep apnea remedy depression? Studies link sleep apnea and depression, therefore the correction of sleep apnea may be a remedy for depression. For more than twenty years studies have suggested the existence of a relationship between depression and obstructive sleep apnea in the general population.

In clinical practice, the presence of depressive symptoms is often considered in patients with obstructive sleep apnea although sleep problems and specifically obstructive sleep apnea are rarely assessed on a regular basis in patients with a depressive disorder.

It is speculated that obstructive sleep apnea might not only be associated with a depressive syndrome, but its presence may also be responsible for failure to respond to pharmacological treatment and that undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea might be exacerbated by antidepressant medications, such as benzodiazepines.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep disordered breathing and is defined by frequent episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep. It is characterized by sleep-related decreases or pauses in respiration.

The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is higher in men than in women and is found in all age groups but its prevalence increases with age. In children, the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is less well known and has been estimated to be between 2-8%.

The estimated prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in people between the ages of 30 to 60 years old was 9 percent for women and 24 percent for men. Male sex and obesity were strongly associated with the presence of sleep-disordered breathing.

Abnormal respiratory events are the hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea and are generally accompanied by heart rate variability and arousals from sleep, with frequent arousals being the most important factor resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness.

The extent to which daytime functioning is affected generally depends on the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. Symptoms other than excessive daytime sleepiness which greatly impact daytime functioning are neuropsychological symptoms such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, and other psychological disturbances. Therefore obstructive sleep apnea can easily mimic symptoms of a major depressive episode.

My other blogs;
1. Across this bridge
2. Marketing myself
3. Struggling parents
4. When life become a book
5. Read Between the Lines
6. Internet Lifestyle
7. The Sleeping Turtle Art Gallery