(PRBuzz.com) April 13, 2012 -- City of Sleep, one of the leading providers of sleep aids, sleep-related products and sleep information, is urging people to pay attention to the results of a new study that reveals that Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a sleep disorder commonly known as OSA, is being linked to major depression in people of all ages, regardless of their age, sex, weight or race.
The report, which was first published in the Sleep Journal, was commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and surveyed a total of 9,714 people. Researchers also reported that they found no link between snoring and depression.
Anne Wheaton, an epidemiologist and the lead author of the study, admitted that the results were something of a surprise to her team:
"Snorting, gasping or stopping breathing while asleep was associated with nearly all depression symptoms, including feeling hopeless and feeling like a failure. We expected persons with sleep-disordered breathing to report trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or feeling tired and having little energy, but not the other symptoms," she explained.
The Sleep Journal reports that the survey is the first nationally representative study of its kind to examine the relationship between OSA sleep disorders and depression. According to them, all previous studies on sleep disorders have focused on specific groups in the US population, for example those who suffer from specific medical conditions, rather than a broad section of healthy persons.
Wheaton explained that the chances of someone experiencing symptoms of depression were markedly increased when they showed symptoms of OSA or other sleep disorders, such as snoring or stopping breathing momentarily whilst asleep.
Wheaton suggests that those who are experiencing symptoms of depression should be screened for OSA, as this could help to address the problems of sleep apnea being under-diagnosed. In addition, individuals could then take steps to remedy OSA through the use of recommended sleep aids.
The Sleep Journal reported that of the 9,714 persons tested, approximately 6% of male participants and 3% of female participants were already diagnosed with OSA and using sleep aids.