Can snoring affect mental health? Here’s what you need to know

Snoring leads to disturbed sleep which makes the person crawl out of bed feeling tired, exhausted and irritable.

Your brain needs sleep in order to function properly. Even during sleep, the brain continues to work, as it processes the events of the day. So a good night’s sleep is essential for enhancing memory, decision making, learning and other cognitive functions. Snoring leads to disturbed sleep, which makes the person crawl out of bed feeling tired, exhausted and irritable.

A sleep-deprived brain has some psychological effects which are not necessarily very evident, but are troublesome. It leads to cognitive impairment, wherein poor sleep reduces the brain’s efficiency in storing and retrieving memory. It can hamper creativity, concentration, and can lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviours.

* Disturbed sleep can lead to anxiety, and this anxiety reduces one’s ability to cope with stress. Those who already are suffering from anxiety, lack of sleep can worsen their symptoms.

* Those individuals who have sleep apnea have shown to be more likely to develop depression. Lack of oxygen and sleep disturbances can cause alterations in brain functioning, leading to depression.

* Individuals who snore more also face an increased risk of diminished sexual satisfaction.

* Individuals who find snoring to be problematic also find themselves with low self-esteem, and it negatively impacts their relationships, says Sana Rubiyana, Counselling Psychologist, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Bangalore. “Where they tend to feel insecure due to their snoring, they also indulge in behaviours such as avoiding sleeping with their partner or even avoiding sharing their bed or room with other members. It can also aggravate already existing marital problems,” she tells

* Sleep deprivation can make us more emotionally sensitive; it does not only impact our confidence, but also makes us feel disoriented, drained. It can also decrease our frustration tolerance.

* For working individuals with disturbed sleep or deprived sleep, it can take a toll on their work-life, wherein attention and productivity get affected. Poor sleep has also shown to increase accidents at the workplace.

There are some lifestyle changes that one can make to reduce snoring:

* Losing unhealthy weight.

* Changing sleep positions avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime.

* Seeking medical help for any allergies and respiratory problems.

* Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol consumption before bedtime.

For psychological effects of snoring such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship issues, seek professional help from a mental health expert.

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