July 22, 2019—Using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device while sleeping helps ward off depression in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who also have heart and blood vessel problems, according to a new study.
In fact, up to half of people with OSA may have cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart attack and stroke, according to the authors of this study. And people with CVD are also prone to depression which, in turn, can make their health risks worse.
Sleeping better, feeling better
The study included more than 2,500 people who had moderate to severe OSA and CVD. The researchers tracked the study participants for an average of 3.7 years. Some of the people used a CPAP device—a common treatment for OSA. With CPAP, a mask worn over the face blows air into the airway to help it stay open during sleep.
Here's what the researchers found: After six months of treatment, those who used CPAP had fewer symptoms of depression than those who had no treatment. And their better moods lasted the entire length of the study.
This finding was independent of one of CPAP's other benefits: less daytime sleepiness.
Hamilton Regional Sleep Center provides evaluations for patients suffering from potentially serious medical conditions such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. The vast majority of patients who have sleep disorders experience daytime sleepiness, a lack of energy, insomnia, nightmares, sleep deprivation or snoring.
“Sleep disorders are widely ignored,”said Jeff Hughes, Cardiovascular Service Line administrator. “It’s important to take the symptoms seriously and get tested.”
Overnight sleep testing is provided with state-of-the-art technology by highly trained technologists. The sleep studies are painless and use noninvasive technology to record heart rate, brain waves, breathing, oxygenation, and eye and leg movement. Hospitalization is not required.