Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Nighttime Symptoms of Sleep ApneaSomeone with sleep apnea may be totally unaware he or is she has the disorder. Often a partner or family member may be the one who notices the symptoms:
- Pauses in breathing during sleep. Typically, breathing ceases for about 10-30 seconds, but in some people it can stop for 60 seconds or more. These pauses may occur hundreds of times a night
- Choking, gasping, or snorting. After breathing has stopped for a period of time, the person wakes up enough to start struggling for breath (although generally not enough to regain full consciousness).
- Loud snoring. Often, but not always, sleep apnea is accompanied by loud snoring, frequently when the person is lying on his or her back. Snoring in itself isn’t harmful.
- Occasional awakenings accompanied by choking or gasping
- Recurrent awakenings (insomnia). Usually people with sleep apnea don’t remember waking up at night
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath. This is generally a symptom of central sleep apnea, not obstructive sleep apnea.
Daytime Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Morning or nighttime headaches. About half of all people with sleep apnea report having headaches at some point during the day or evening.
- Dry throat upon awakening
- Drowsiness and fatigue. People with sleep apnea may feel sleepy and tired all day and fall asleep at inappropriate times, for example when at work or while eating a meal or driving
- Irritability, mood swings, depression
- Problems with learning, concentrating, or remembering things
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in ChildrenChildren may have symptoms that differ from adults.
- Effort in breathing while asleep, accompanied by flaring nostrils, heaving chest, or sweating
- Long sleep time
- Morning headaches
- Behavioral difficulties, such as irritability
- Learning problems, for instance an inability to concentrate or to perform cognitive tasks like math problems
- Hyperactivity is linked to sleep disorders, and some studies show that treating sleep apnea can help resolve symptoms of ADHD.
- Failure to grow and gain weight