How Stress Aggravates Sleep Apnea

The last year has been a stressful one. We’re all still feeling the rippling impacts of COVID-19 on our lives. There’s no doubt most people are stressed out these days, but few stop to consider the long-term implications that stress has on their health.

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Stress 

How we sleep is often connected to how well we’re taking care of ourselves in general. When we get a good night’s sleep, we’re more prepared for the day ahead. Energy allows us to combat work or school stress and handle it effectively. Conversely, a bad night’s sleep can lead to unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms.  Drinking, smoking, unintended weight gain are all incredibly common among stressed people. Unfortunately, all of these habits also exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms.

When stress gets the better of us, our sleep suffers. This is true of everyone, but it’s especially valid for those with sleep apnea. Poor sleep begets stress which, in turn, begets more bad sleep. It’s a vicious cycle many battle for years before seeking help.

Treating Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea but aren’t wearing a CPAP to bed, stress makes things even worse. In fact, you may find yourself in that vicious cycle where your stress levels directly impact your ability to maintain your oxygen level. You’ll sleep poorly and decrease the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and heart.

Thankfully, CPAPs aren’t the only option for people with sleep apnea. Oral sleep appliances, or OSAs, offer a customized approach to treating OSA, leading to better health outcomes and more restful sleep. Oral sleep devices fit like retainers, gently shifting the lower jaw forward to open your airways during sleep.

Reducing Stress

Of course, it’s important to also do what you can to reduce stress in your daily life. A restful night of sleep is a great first step in combating stress. After treating your sleep apnea and getting better rest, you may be surprised to find yourself more resilient and ready to tackle stressful situations.

If you’re ready to address your obstructive sleep apnea once and for all, give us a call today.