Men with both obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are much more likely to have depression symptoms compared to men with either sleep disorder alone, suggests a recent Australian study.
The depression symptoms also seem to be worse for men who have both apnea and insomnia compared to men with depression but without this combination of sleep problems, the authors report in the journal Respirology.
“Obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia are the two most common sleep disorders and can occur together in the same individual,” lead author Dr. Carol Lang, a researcher at the Basil Hetzel Institute at the University of Adelaide Queen Elizabeth Hospital Campus, told Reuters Health.
“We know that each of these disorders is individually associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes in patients. However, we don’t know very much about if, or how, the two disorders interact with each other and the health outcomes when they coexist in the same individual,” Lang said in an email.
A person with obstructive sleep apnea has their breathing interrupted multiple times during sleep by narrowed or blocked airways. The condition is often treated by wearing a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, mask to keep the airway open.
Insomnia was defined in this study as the inability to fall or stay asleep together with feeling fatigued during the day.