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Can sleep apnea cause anxiety/panic attacks?

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Mondayz +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

I just had an in home sleep study done, and it was determined that I do have sleep apnea. Now begins the long road of insurance battling to get an in lab one. In the meantime:

1) can sleep apnea cause anxiety and panic attacks? I have been extremely anxious the past two months and feel as though I haven’t slept in two months either. This all began after a random panic attack with no known trigger.

2) sleep study folks, how long after the in on study did you get your machine and how long thereafter did you feel the effects of it helping ?

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sleepbandit +0 points · 2 months ago

Definitely can cause anxiety and panic as every time you stop breathing your body triggers the fight or flight response to wake you so you start breathing again. And all that cortisol in your body creates lingering anxiety. Before I was treated for apnea (and my mine is mild), I would always get out of bed with morning anxiety. This foreboding feeling. Literally, after the first night using the appliance that feeling pretty much went away. It's crazy. I feel so much calmer now.

I have an oral appliance. I got it right after my study. I didn't wait for insurance to pre-approve. I wanted to start sleeping again so I just paid for it. LOL.

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Mondayz +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

Thank you for the reply. I’m Just wondering if the anxiety can be during the day like 24/7 around the clock anxiety. Is this normal of sleep apnea or should I get that checked as well via a psychiatrist ?

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sleepbandit +0 points · 2 months ago

If you have apnea, try getting that corrected first before you start treating yourself something else is my suggestion. If the apnea improves your anxiety may subside as well. If not, then seek out help for the anxiety.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Innovater

I can't really say I had anxiety/panic attacks, but I certainly was irritated about having an apnea test and in my initial use of the CPAP. I really did not want to be diagnosed with apnea and did not want to use the equipment. However, I got over it, and now realize my irritation was making things worse with respect to getting sleep.

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obbyone +0 points · 28 days ago

I suffered panic/anxiety during the day but after using the bipap machine symptoms went away .

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FWLindaY +0 points · 19 days ago

Mondayz, I had my sleep study on 6/9 and found out that I was averaging 96 episodes an hour with some lasting as long as 40 seconds. I found out that my oxygen was dropping to the low 70% over night. I was anxious and felt like crap and the longer it took them to call me back in for my results to be confirmed the harder each night became. The fact that during my sleep study they put me on therapy and I woke the next morning feeling like I had been given a "happy" pill was beyond disappointing when I learned that it would go away with one bad night sleep. Therapy for me started on 7/8. I am using an Apap set to 8-15 depending on the apnea event. I did exactly what they suggested and played with it the first night, sitting watching TV. The only part that was difficult was/is that I can't talk without air pouring out my mouth and this makes me feel a bit like I am choking. So it's mum's the word if I have my nasal pillow on (husband may say this is an added bonus). I am a full 21 days in and will not go without it. Its not like you don't get tired, if you do stuff where you should be tired you are -- but the mind-numbing exhaustion is gone. For me, frequent wake-ups to use the bathroom, leg and foot cramps, needing a nap 30 minutes after waking, sleeping on average of 10 hours a night, feeling my husband poke me to get me breathing -- ALL that stopped with one night of therapy. I think you will do great. I hope you let us all know.

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