Obstructive sleep apnea can negatively affect many aspects of your life — but have you ever considered how it can impact you emotionally?
When you stop to think about it, it isn’t all that surprising. Most people feel grouchy and irritable after a night when they didn’t sleep well. You might be more short-tempered, and quicker to lash out over things that normally aren’t as big of a deal to you.
While most people can feel “back to normal” after getting a good night’s sleep, this isn’t necessarily an option for people with untreated sleep apnea. Because obstructive sleep apnea causes dozens of interruptions to sleep each hour of the night, you are constantly getting awakened. As a result, your body doesn’t enter REM or deep sleep, which are the periods when your body processes emotions and recovers physically after the events of the day.
As a result, untreated sleep apnea won’t just make you tired. It could cause fatigue-related emotional issues to become a serious, ongoing problem that disrupts your life.
Does Being Tired Make You Angry?
Even a single night of poor sleep can make you irritable and short-tempered — so it’s easy to see how this problem would escalate after several nights of poor sleep. This can make it harder to handle the stresses of an average day, even making you more likely to start arguments or “blow up” because of a relatively minor issue. You might say or do things that hurt your relationships, all because of fatigue interfering with your judgement and emotions.
On the opposite side of this spectrum, good sleep has been found to help improve relationships with others by making us more empathetic and more willing to approach others, while also helping us be less aggressive, angry, and prejudiced.
In other words, getting a good night’s rest can improve your social behaviors simply by helping you be in a better emotional state. You’ll be far less likely to do something you’ll regret later when you can think clearly and stay in control of your emotions.
Sleep Deprivation Increases the Risk For Depression and Anxiety
Poor sleep caused by sleep apnea doesn’t just make you more irritable and angry — it can also make you depressed. Studies have linked sleep apnea with depression and anxiety, as well as other major mood disorders. This can occur because poor sleep alters your brain chemicals in a way that makes it harder to deal with stress, making you more likely to experience anxiety and other emotional issues.
Unfortunately, getting overwhelmed by stress can further interfere with your sleep, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. And as you continue to sleep poorly, your stress and anxiety can become even worse. The two problems essentially “grow” together.
Left unchecked, depression and anxiety can significantly interfere with your health and well-being. Mood disorders can lead to social withdrawal, loss of enthusiasm for your favorite activities, and struggles with relationships, work, and more. These emotional disorders can also negatively affect your physical health.
Sleeplessness and Selfishness
Volunteering and serving others has been found to improve mental health — so when you help others, you help yourself, too!
However, a lack of sleep can make you less able to enjoy the benefits of volunteering. In an article for Psychology Today, Dustin W. Ballard MD, MBE highlights these study results: “On an individual level, sleep deprivation for a single night was associated with decreased willingness to help other people (both strangers and familiars) and decreased activation of the social cognition network on functional MRI imaging. And on a population level, from 2001 to 2016, the investigators observed a significant drop (approximately 10 percent) in the amount of online charitable donations in the week after ‘spring forward’ daylight savings time that was not present in states that do not have daylight savings or in the week following ‘fall back.’”
Becoming more selfish because you haven’t slept well doesn’t just mean you’re less likely to give to charity. It can also make you less empathetic to the needs of friends and family members. When those closest to you can’t depend on you when they need help, the quality of your relationships will suffer.
Sleep Better and Feel Better With CPAP Treatment
You never know what a new day might bring — and quite often, a lot of what happens will be completely out of your control. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you may not be mentally and emotionally equipped to handle it. This is why using a CPAP machine to mitigate your sleep apnea is so important.
The steady flow of pressurized air from a CPAP machine keeps your airways from closing off during the night, preventing those interruptions that keep you from getting the quality sleep you need. By getting enough rest, you’ll wake up feeling truly refreshed and with the mental and emotional capacity to handle whatever the day has in store. You will treat others better, and feel better about yourself.
At Help Medical Supplies, you’ll find a wide range of high-quality CPAP machines from leading brands like ResMed, 3B Medical and Fisher & Paykel. Many of these devices are available at significant discounts off of MSRP, helping you save big on these medical devices. With free shipping and available financing, your CPAP machine becomes even more affordable, and you can get the quality sleep you need to stay in a good mood.