Sleep-disordered breathing linked with depression

Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep has been associated with nearly all depression symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 9,714 Americans for a new study appearing in the April issue of SLEEP. The CDC determined that the likelihood of depression increased with the frequency of sleep-disordered breathing.

Symptoms reported included feelings of hopelessness and feeling like a failure. The association was made regardless of factors like weight, age, sex or race. The CDC study is the first nationally representative sampling to look at obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and depression. Similar links have been made in previous studies, but in samples that were much smaller and more specific.

The study’s authors suggested that physicians screen for depression in the presence of sleep-disordered breathing, or vice versa. The said such screenings could help reduce the high incidence and under-diagnosis of both of these disorders.

Read more blog posts about sleep and depression. Or learn more about insomnia, or take a short quiz to test how well you sleep.