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www.wmfd.com - It's estimated more than 12-million Americans have sleep apnea and doctors say many people with sleep apnea also suffer from depression. }}" />

   
 
 
Many People With Sleep Apnea Also Suffer From Depression

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 7/20/2013 It's estimated more than 12-million Americans have sleep apnea. And if you're one of them, you could be at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. But those may not be the only risks you face. Doctors say many people with sleep apnea also suffer from depression. And now, they may know one of the reasons why. With details, here's Clark Powell. After years of struggling with the symptoms of sleep apnea, Jack Chapman says using a C-Pap machine has changed his life overnight. "A complete difference in how you feel all day,"says Chapman. "You wake up refreshed." While this machine may have helped JUack with his physical symptoms, a new study is shedding light on the psychilogical symptoms of sleep apnea. "In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, there is a very high incidence of having depression," says Dr. Ulysses Magalang of The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Magaling is a sleep expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He says half of all patients with obstructive sleep apnea also have depression. And now, as subtle as it may seem, they may have found one of the reasons. "Light at night, even low levels of light,might actually suppress the secretion of melatonin," says Dr. Magalang. And in lab experiments with mice, that led to depression and anxiety. Rooms like this may seem fit for sleep but there are several problems. TV's can caus significant sleep disruption and even when they're off, lights from control boxes can cause problems, so can alarm clocks. Even though the experiments were done in mice, researchers say the evidence is compelling enough to prompt changes in humans. "If you have obstructive sleep apnea, it would be better if you can sleep in a darkened environment and avoid even low levels of light," says Dr. Magalang. Chapman says his sleep apnea hasn't caused depression, but he appreciates the fact that researches are shedding new light on how important it might be to sleep in the dark. Researchers say the emotional differences in mice that slept in dimly-lit rooms versus those that didn't were significant. And they hope to begin human experiments soon. They say light at night is a relatively new problem in human existence, and thanks to our constant use of electronics, it has gotten much worse over the last decade.
   
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