Sleep apnea – a sleep disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts – is a serious condition that can cause severe health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and possibly even death. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the signs of sleep apnea until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the most common symptoms of this disorder so you can take steps to protect your health before things get worse. Here are five common symptoms of sleep apnea that you shouldn’t ignore.
If you’re waking up gasping for air, this could be a sign that your breathing is being interrupted during sleep due to sleep apnea. When your breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night, it can cause you to wake up briefly with a sudden jolt as you struggle to draw breath into your lungs.
If this happens often, make sure to talk to your doctor about it right away. Alternatively, if you’re not entirely sure you have sleep apnea, you can conduct a home sleep apnea test to confirm.
One of the hallmark symptoms of sleep apnea is excessive daytime fatigue and feeling sleepy during the day, even after a full night’s sleep.
This is because when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night, you don’t get the restorative rest that you need. Instead of feeling refreshed in the morning, you may feel tired and exhausted all day long.
Loud snoring is another common symptom of sleep apnea. When air can’t move freely through your mouth or nose during sleep, it can create a loud vibration sound – known as snoring – as you try to breathe.
If your partner notices that you’re snoring loudly every night, this could be an indication that something isn’t quite right with your breathing while asleep.
Experiencing headaches in the morning is another common symptom of sleep apnea because when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night, it can reduce the amount of oxygen that’s circulating through your body.
If your head is aching when you wake up in the morning, this could be an indication that your oxygen levels are low.
If you’re feeling more irritable than usual and have difficulty concentrating, these could both be signs of sleep apnea. When you’re not getting enough restful sleep due to the pauses in your breathing, it can take a toll on your mental state and make it hard for you to focus.
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can lead to major health problems if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. Excessive daytime fatigue, loud snoring, waking up gasping for air, morning headaches and irritability are all common signs of sleep apnea. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor about it right away and get the help you need.