Go Back   NeuroTalk Support Groups > >

Can anxiety and stress make sleep apnea worse?

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-12-2018, 03:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 34
My Mood: Can anxiety and stress make sleep apnea worse?
Default Can anxiety and stress make sleep apnea worse?

Hi, I normally post on the TBI / Concussion section

I've been a very heavy snorer since my early 20's, I never sleep through and can wake several times during the night, where my awakening frequency is made worse by any stress. I'm not obese, my neck is less than 16.5 inches, though I do have a bit of an overbite. I've previosly tried anti-snoring gumshields and slings with little success, along with sporadic attempts at throat tightening exercises.

I used to put my broken sleep down to anxiety, stress and depression preventing me from getting into deep sleep, but over the past few years I've wondered if its undiagnosed sleep apnea. I've had a few concussions in my time and suffered bad PCS after I had one in 2015. I've recently found out that sleep apnea after head injury is common, which could explain things, or I'm overthinking again due to my anxiety.

On top of this, 2017 was a brutal year in terms of stressful life events which caused stress and anxiety levels to soar and stay ramped up. Then an event happened in late Nov 2017 which appears to have triggered off PCS-like symptoms again, medical experts are saying there has been no concussion and that my anxiety and depression has gotten much worse. Since then my sleep patterns have deteriorated.

My snoring has got louder again and I'm now waking myself up with a short snore/gasp that rattles my windpipe, especially in the later part of the night. This is new and happens regardless of sleeping on my side or front. I can't even sleep on my back now for more than a few minutes before I jolt myself awake with a loud snore/grunt, which indicates apnea. In fact this "apnea-like" event seems to happen even when I'm just dozing. This is a very new physiological symptom which is causing me major concern.

Can major anxiety and prolonged stress make sleep apnea/snoring much worse?

I also noticed that my anxiety means I tend to hold my breath a lot more during the day and don't breath as often or as deep as I normally do. Can shallower breathing increase daytime CO2 concentrations in our blood which could then make night apnea more likely?

The other thing is that I've been occasionally using propranolol the last few months which slows down heart rate and presumably blood flow/oxygen content.

Last edited by Ady_P; 01-12-2018 at 03:20 PM. Reason: clarity
Ady_P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 02:47 AM   #2
Community Welcome Team
kiwi33's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Posts: 2,644
My Mood: Can anxiety and stress make sleep apnea worse?

Shallow breathing, leading to a transient increase in blood CO2 levels, can make anxiety/panic attacks worse. I get them sometimes and a deep breathing exercise, for about 10 minutes or so, is usually effective.

Sleep apnea is more complex. You could get you doctor to refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. There are clinical tests for it and generally it can be treated successfully.
Knowledge is power.
kiwi33 is online now   Reply With Quote

anxiety, apnea, night, sleep, stress

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can anxiety make you temporarily worse? 4yearson Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome 4 07-27-2014 03:17 PM
Can anxiety and depression make symptoms worse? CW21 Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome 7 01-08-2013 08:37 PM
Sleep apnea symptoms with negative sleep apnea test results kittycapucine1974 Sleep Apnea & Sleep Disorders 11 11-05-2011 01:28 AM
Does MS make stress reactions worse? Debbie D Multiple Sclerosis 21 08-09-2011 11:45 AM
Freaking out - anxiety or Sleep Apnea? Rainbowzz Sleep Apnea & Sleep Disorders 5 04-03-2009 08:11 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:16 AM.
Brought to you by the fine folks who publish mental health and psychology information at Psych Central Mental Health Forums

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
provided by a qualified health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

Home - Top

Powered by vBulletin • Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.31 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.7.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

All posts copyright their original authors Community Guidelines Terms of Use Privacy Policy