The study was conducted by researchers who analyzed a group of pilots from Saudi Arabia. Because it is a high-risk occupation and people struggling with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from fatigue and insomnia, the researchers wanted to better understand the disease in order to detect it earlier and try to prevent it.
“One-third of participants had trouble starting or maintaining sleep (insomnia), 33% had tiredness and fatigue, 35.9% had depression, while 23.1% had excessive daytime sleepiness.” explains the study.
The link between sleep apnea and depression has appeared in previous studies, giving more legitimacy to this connection. This link is believed to exist as people with sleep apnea are not well rested due to abrupt waking up in the middle of the night and then having trouble sleeping again. The more they struggle with the disease, the less comfortable people will feel in all aspects of their daily lives, influencing their work performance and relationships.
In addition to being related to depression, sleep apnea has been linked to increased blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
People with sleep apnea wake up at night due to sudden changes in their breathing patterns. Over the years, researchers have discovered that this is because the throat tissue relaxes during sleep, blocks the airways and disrupts sleep. It is a condition that affects approximately 22 million people in the US.
Sleep apnea is a serious and common illness. People who suffer from mild cases can benefit from sleeping on their stomachs or sideways, keeping their airways as open as possible. For more severe cases, it is important to talk to your doctor and look for other treatment methods, including the use of respiratory aids such as a CPAP machine and even surgery.