When sleep apnea wakes you up repeatedly throughout the night because you can’t breathe properly, it’s no wonder it can increase anxiety. Your body is deprived of oxygen hundreds of times throughout the night which causes immense stress on the brain as well as the body. This anxiety that occurs during sleep can carry over into your life when you’re awake and affect your career, relationships, and overall mood.
In addition to anxiety, untreated sleep apnea is also linked to increased levels of depression. Sleep apnea causes symptoms like feeling exhausted all the time, having poor focus, mood swings, and gaining weight—these are also symptoms of depression. By treating sleep apnea, it can reduce the symptoms of depression and in some cases cure your depression.
Lastly, since sleep apnea can change your brain, it only makes sense that it’s linked to schizophrenia, a brain-related disorder. People with schizophrenia are 6 times more likely to have sleep apnea than those without.
When sleep apnea is left untreated, people have the following increased odds of mental problems according to a study: