Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where the person affected stops and starts breathing throughout the night while asleep. It can be potentially serious and there are three different kinds: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs because the throat muscles relax while central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is when the patient has both kinds of sleep apnea. Because this sleep disorder can be particularly serious, be on the lookout for signs of it!

Loud snoring

While not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea, if you constantly snore and it’s disruptive to others in your household, it very well could be a sign of sleep apnea. Because you’re asleep, you won’t notice your snoring and it’ll be more difficult to catch your sleep disorder in the beginning. If your family is complaining about your snoring, go to see your doctor and find out if there’s anything that can be done.

Constantly tired

Because you are not getting a fulfilling sleep, it’s common that you’ll wake the next day feeling fatigued. Those with sleep apnea do not get restful sleep due to their fitful breathing, so they’ll often have trouble staying awake throughout the day, even after being in bed for a full night’s rest. Constant fatigue is the most common side effect of sleep apnea that people experience, even before they’re aware they have a sleeping disorder.

Morning headaches

Next to chronic fatigue, this symptom is most common in those with sleep apnea. Patients often wake the next morning with a headache, due to the lack of oxygen to their brain throughout the night, which can cause a vascular headache. You may also experience mood swings and irritability due to the lack of sleep you’re experiencing.

Noticeable breathing irregularities

In addition to snoring, your breathing will start and stop throughout the night if you have sleep apnea. You may wake up, but not realize why, so it can be hard to diagnose the disease right away. However, if you live with a significant other, they’ll likely notice your snoring and irregular breathing, which will cause you to see a doctor sooner. Sleep apnea can develop into a pretty serious condition and some people with it will experience their breathing starting and stopping hundreds of times throughout the night. If you suspect you have a sleeping disorder, see your doctor before it becomes more serious.