Snoring and 6 Other Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that leads patients to temporarily stop breathing during sleep. It has been linked to a number of other health issues, from daytime sleepiness, to high blood pressure and even stroke.
While excessive snoring is a telltale symptom that can be easily recognizable, there are other signs that individuals can take note of themselves. Learning how to recognize the signs of sleep apnea in due time can make a real difference. They are as follows.
1. Exhaustion — When one stops breathing during sleep, the brain literally wakes the whole body up as a result. The individual doesn't feel or even realize that they are awake, but that quick disruption in their sleep cycle will have consequences, namely the general feeling of exhaustion.
2. Unstoppable sleepiness — Those who suffer from apnea are very likely to suffer from unstoppable sleepiness and fall asleep at any given time. These people may have no control over when or where they fall asleep, which could put them and those around them in danger, for instance if they fall asleep behind the wheel.
3. Mood swings, lack of focus and impaired memory — All three of these symptoms have been linked to sleep deprivation, which is what happens when sleep is constantly disturbed by episodes of sleep apnea. This happens because the brain doesn’t have a chance to go through its restorative processes, and it affects mood and performance negatively during the day.
4. Morning headache — Sleep apnea deprives the brain of oxygen and it reacts accordingly by ‘greeting’ those who suffer from the condition with a morning headache. The good news is that such a headache does fade quickly, as the normal flow of oxygen is restored.
5. Nocturia — Waking up to urinate in the middle of the night may seem normal. However, besides being one of the most common symptoms of BPH, these occurrences may also be linked to sleep apnea. The condition causes individuals to go into a lighter sleep, making it easier to wake up when even slight urges arise.
6. Dry mouth and sore throat — Those who sleep and snore through the night with their mouth wide open are likely to wake up feeling dried out. The increased air flow through the mouth limits the production of saliva, which results in a dry mouth and possible sore, itchy throat as individuals rise in the morning.
The above symptoms are often consistent with sleep apnea, but can as well be related to other conditions. So those who identify a number of them should consult a doctor in order to have a sleep study done and find out for sure whether sleep apnea is the actual problem.