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Depression from Sleep Disorders/Difficulties



Jul 20, 2015
England or On Another Planet
I have suffered from depression occasionally throughout my adult life. Now I'm 61 and effectively retired I don't have the pressures and strains that used to bring on depressive feelings but I'm almost suicidal. I found CBT and exercise to be useful, but pharmaceuticals and counselling did little, if anything, for me. Although I'm what might be called an unstable personality (despite my being one of the most sensible, pragmatic, logical and unemotional people you'll meet) I think my current depression comes from an issue that has been getting worse throughout my adult life: I don't seem to get refreshing sleep and I feel [email protected] during the day. The extra tiredness and lack of motivation through depression is killing me.

I was diagnosed with apnoea 5 years ago but CPAP worked only marginally. A review diagnosed me with central sleep apnoea, where the apnoea is linked to my brain not a throat obstruction, but the more complicated BiPAP machine made no difference. I have RLS and PLMS, where I twitch at night and during sleep, but 3 different drugs have made no difference. I've had my machine settings tuned by hospital and the experts on Apnoea boards but nothing helps. There are many clinical studies on Apnoea's being linked to depression but none I can find on my situation.

Does anyone have experience of depression and sleep disorders, Apnoea in particular?


Well-known member
Feb 6, 2021
Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
I have experience with depression and sleep disorders (insomnia and apnea). I've read that Depression and sleep problems are closely linked. People with insomnia, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression than people who get a good night's sleep. And among people with depression, 75 percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I also use a BiPAP machine for my obstructive sleep apnea. My apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) was really high before I started using a BiPAP machine. It was 60, whereas now it's around 2 to 5. I'm sorry to hear that nothing has helped you. I haven't heard before where apnea is linked to the brain. I wish that one day you can find peace.


Active member
Feb 3, 2021
I am depressed a lot because I can't sleep without sleep meds and I can not function with out it so I am worried and I have anxieties as well.


Jul 20, 2015
England or On Another Planet
Thank you. I don't know the history but I assume obstructive apnoea, caused by obstructions, is so-named to differentiate it from central apnoea, caused by the brain's signal to breathe failing to operate lungs. My AHI is consistently below 1 and I normally fall asleep quickly and sleep for an uninterrupted 8 hrs, but I often feel drowsy and sleep during the day. That said, it's not the sleepiness that gets me, it's the effort to do anything, a combination of feeling as if I'm carrying a lead cloak whilst working through a cold and hangover.

It must be horrible having to use sleeping pills and put up with their side effects all the time.
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