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If you’ve found your way to this blog post, you or a loved one likely have some suspicions about having sleep apnea. 

It can be a scary thing to think about. People in your life might give you advice or even try to diagnose your symptoms. Even though your cousin’s best friend’s nephew might have the best intentions for you, they aren’t the experts. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get polysomnography, also simply called a sleep study.

While you wait for your sleep study appointment, log your symptoms in a sleep journal.

It never hurts to document sleep patterns and symptoms.

Here are 7 symptoms of Sleep Apnea to watch out for:

 

Snoring

Buzzzz Buzzzz! Snoring like a buzz saw isn’t pleasant for anyone. 

Snoring can be a pesky thing for both you and your partner to deal with.  Some of you may have even found yourself here because your partner is complaining about lack of sleep from your snoring.

The truth is that snoring is more than just an annoyance. It can destroy sleep, put a damper on relationships, and is dangerous for health. 

That snoring sound, as unpleasant as it may be, is actually a direct result of distressed breathing. 

Basically, when you fall asleep, the tissue in your throat vibrate and create that oh-so-annoying sound.

 

Chronic Sleepiness   

Do you go to sleep at a reasonable time and still find yourself exhausted throughout the day? 

Maybe you lack energy for basic functions like work, exercise, and visits with friends. 

Sleep Apnea continually interrupts the way you breathe. Untreated, people can stop breathing hundreds of times during sleep. 

Essentially, the body and brain are deprived of essential oxygen they need. It can even wake you up momentarily, breaking your sleep cycle. 

These, in turn, leave you feeling unrested and chronically tired.

 

Choking

Again, your ability to breathe while asleep is compromised with Sleep Apnea.

The pauses in sleep can sometimes start back up with a loud gasp or choking sound. Often times, you will remain unaware of this occurrence, however there are times when it can wake a person out of a deep sleep.

At times, the entire body jerks or convulses as well. This can be a frightening experience for you or anyone who witnesses this. 

Imagine falling asleep on a train or bus and seeing someone gasping for air and shaking. It’s enough to cause a panic – of course it is something to be concerned about. 

This symptom can cause more than just a scare: it can reduce oxygen to vital organs and even cause irregular heart rhythms.

 

Headaches

It’s all about that oxygen!

Well, actually it’s about that lack of oxygen. 

When you have low oxygen levels your blood vessels widen and give you a vascular headache. 

Headaches are often an overlooked symptom because many people consider them a normal part of life. But if you are suffering from frequent headaches, there is something amiss.

Having headaches every day might be routine for you, but they aren’t actually normal.

 

Dry Mouth/Sore Throat

Waking up every morning with a huge case of cottonmouth and a sore throat can be a huge indication of Sleep Apnea. 

If you think about the open position of the mouth while someone is snoring and the throat vibrations that is sure to equal a dry mouth and sore throat. 

It’s certainly not a pleasant thing to deal with, but again if other illness is ruled out, it’s a pretty good indicator of Sleep Apnea.

(Most CPAP machines have the option to heat and humidify air to help this very problem!)

 

Forgetfulness/Mood Changes 

Lack of sleep can really do a lot of damage. 

You might feel forgetful, changes in your mood, and generally irritable from lack of Zzzzzs. 

However, there is actually more than sleep loss when it comes to Sleep Apnea.

In some extreme cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, these symptoms can be a result of brain damage. 

Again, the severe oxygen deficiency wreaks havoc on the brain resulting in various mood changes and forgetfulness.

 

Insomnia 

Many people might think they are insomniacs without realizing that their lack of sleep might actually stem from Sleep Apnea. 

It leads to the eternal question- which came first the chicken or the Sleep Apnea? 

In all seriousness, these disorders have quite a bit of overlap and while they may exist as completely different entities, many times people suffer from both. 

In some cases, insomnia symptoms can clear up considerably once the Sleep Apnea is treated. 

 

This list isn’t the definitive list of Sleep Apnea Symptoms, but it’s a pretty good sampling. 

If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, I highly recommend getting yourself in for a sleep study. 

If left unchecked, Sleep Apnea can be very damaging to your peace of mind and health. 

Luckily, we are here to help once properly diagnosed. 

Your friendly, local Sleep Apnea experts!