We already know that sleep apnea is linked to a host of other health problems, including heart disease and stroke. But a new survey suggests that sleep apnea has a serious toll on the emotional health of those that suffer from it.

Researchers at Laval University in Quebec surveyed 100 patients that had recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Of the 100, 77 reported that sleep apnea caused excessive daytime fatigue, a statistic that is not surprising from what past research has told us about the problem.

What was more surprising, was the emotional effects of sleep apnea. Of those surveyed, 69 percent felt constantly impatient, 59 percent suffered general anxiety issues and 53 percent suffered from depression.

While more follow up would be needed to determine how various treatments for sleep apnea improve the quality of life for patients, it’s safe to assume that treatment would have a significant impact on the emotional outcome, as anxiety, depression and frustration are all linked to a lack of sleep.

Ramie Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT