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Improve Sleep, Improve Depression

woman in bedNew research discovers individuals who suffer from both depression and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often find that use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) relieves both disorders.

The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).

Daniel J. Schwartz, MD, of The Sleep Center at University’s Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., surveyed patients referred to his sleep center for evaluation of OSA and who demonstrated a significant response to CPAP.

The subjects were evaluated for symptoms of depression, were assessed again after four to six weeks of treatment with CPAP and then reassessed approximately one year later.

In this group of patients, the institution of CPAP therapy resulted in a significant decrease in those symptoms of depression that were assessed at both the short-term and long-term follow-up periods.

“Why the use of CPAP is associated with the changes in these symptoms is incompletely understood. Whether relief of the obstructive respiratory events with CPAP might ameliorate the symptoms by improving sleep continuity, by ameliorating the adverse effects of various neurotransmitters, by alleviating the adverse effects of any attendant hypoxemia, or by a mechanism as yet unknown, cannot be determined on the basis of the findings of our study.

But, the data from our study suggests that successful CPAP therapy is associated with a statistically significant improvement in symptoms of depression, and that the improvement is sustained long term,” said Dr. Schwartz.

First introduced as a treatment option for sleep apnea in 1981, CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. CPAP provides a steady stream of pressurized air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep.

This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea and restoring normal oxygen levels.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Improve Sleep, Improve Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Improve Sleep, Improve Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/10/15/improve-sleep-improve-depression/1413.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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