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Sleep Apnea and Anxiety

  • anonymous Asks ...

    I have a really stressful job and I am also a new parent. I was just diagnosed with sleep apnea and I will have to wear a breathing apparatus now when I sleep. I am worried about his as I hear they are uncomfortable, but I will not get one until next week. I am 33 and I am not overweight. I exercise regularly and I would say that other than a very high stress load, I have a healthy lifestyle (I do not drink to excess or use drugs). Is stress causing my sleep apnea. My doctor says he can’t find any real physical reason for it.

  • Dr. Lani Chin Says ...
    Dr. Lani Chin

    Sleep Apnea is a medical issue that is better understood by a medical doctor.  If your regular MD cannot find a physical reason for it, maybe you should get a second opinion.  While anxiety can disrupt sleep, I think it's a bit of a leap to say anxiety is causing your sleep apnea.  I don't know that you will be able to find a conclusive reason for your sleep disorder. 

    You said in your question that you have a stressful job.  Does this mean you have a difficult time sleeping because of issues related to work?  Maybe you can try to improve your self care.  You said you exercise regularly which is great, but can you also take time for yourself?  This doesn't meet you need to sit in your office with the lights off in complete silence.  Can you set aside just a few minutes for yourself?  This might be something that's missing from your daily schedule and could help to decrease your anxiety.  Best of luck.

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