Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Sleep Apnoea And How It Impacts Your Mood

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” — Irish Proverb

Do you often wake up feeling tired no matter how much sleep you’ve had? You could be suffering from Sleep Apnoea — a sleep disorder that causes repeated pauses in breathing during sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) or simply, sleep apnoea is a common issue affecting about 3-7% of men and 2-5% of women worldwide. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, it’s important to seek treatment for it can lead to a range of serious health issues, if left untreated.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome?

Sleep Apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat block the upper airways during sleep. Each time the airway closes, there is a pause in breathing – up to a minute – followed by loud snoring, causing the sleeper to wake up suddenly, gasping for air. This process can happen repeatedly, often hundreds of times in a single night, causing sleep disruption, fatigue, and irritability. Severe sleep Apnoea can lead to life threatening consequences like hypertension, obesity, erectile dysfunction, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

OSAS Symptoms and Their Links Mood Disorders

Symptoms of sleep apnoea can range from mild to severe, with common tell-tale signs being loud snoring, sudden stopped breathing, or gasping for air during sleep. Look out for signs like waking up with a dry mouth, morning headaches, day sleepiness, irritability or trouble concentrating while awake. Men are more likely to develop sleep apnoea than women.

Research suggests people with sleep apnoea are also at risk for mood disorders like depression, anxiety. There are clear links between a good night’s sleep and improved mood. If you are constantly struggling to sleep well due to sleep apnoea, then you may begin to feel irritable, have memory problems, concentration issues, and mood disorders including stress and depression. The reduced supply of oxygen to the brain at night can affect brain functioning, plus the stress that comes with having a medical condition cannot be ignored.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers examining levels of brain-chemicals in people with sleep apnoea found abnormally high levels of glutamate and lower levels of GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain. While GABA acts as a mood inhibitor and helps keep people calm, glutamate – in high levels – causes brain to be stressed and not work as well.

It is important to treat sleep apnoea not only to address the physical effects but also to revive one’s mental health. Doctors treating sleep apnoea prescribe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to help patients sleep easier, and also pay attention to help them manage stress, concentration, and memory loss problems.

A much easier and effective alternative to CPAP therapy is COAT (Continuous Open Airway Therapy) – the world’s leading sleep Apnoea oral appliance dental device from SomnoMed. SomnoDent provides sleep solutions to patients with mild to moderate Sleep Apnoea and those who cannot use CPAP theory.

By treating your Sleep Apnoea, you won’t just get back your good night’s sleep but also benefit from better mood and a health


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

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