Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. These pauses, called apnea, can last anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute and they can happen as little as 5 or as many as 30 or more times an hour.

This disorder can be diagnosed with a sleep apnea test called a polysomnogram, which requires an over-night stay at a clinic under careful observation.

The major symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Being tired during the day, regardless of how many hours you sleep at night
  • Long pauses in breathing
  • Choking and snorting sounds while sleeping

Other common signs of sleep apnea are:

  • Dry mouth and sore throat in the morning
  • Moodiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent trips to the restroom during the night
  • Digestive problems such as heart burns
  • Night sweats
  • Forgetfulness
  • Night time choking and gasping sounds
  • Feeling unrefreshed upon waking up
  • Unexplainable weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

The signs of this sleep disorder can be difficult to identify since they occur while sleeping. Most people will become aware of symptoms when their bed partner mentions them. However, if you suspect you are exhibiting signs of sleep apnea, it is possible to videotape yourself while sleeping to get a better idea of what is going on.

It is important to remember that not everyone who snores has periods of apnea during sleep, and not everyone who has this disorder snores either. The biggest sign of apnea during sleep is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring is not likely to interfere with your sleep enough to make you feel chronically tired every day.

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