Silent Signs of Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of a number of diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some headache syndromes. Yet many people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it. Could you be one of them? 

Watch out for these warning signs and symptoms:

1. You’re always tired during the day or waking up with a headache

If you believe you are getting a full night’s sleep but still feel tired during the day, sleep apnea might be to blame. Do you nod off while you’re watching television, or fall asleep at your desk while working?

Sleep apnea can cause you to wake up hundreds of times per hour, but usually subconsciously. As you’re sleeping, your brain wakes up, but you’re not awake long enough to recognize it. Therefore, you fall back asleep directly after the apnea event within seconds, without realizing your sleep has been disrupted.

2. You suffer from night sweats

Excessive sweating at night can also be an indication of sleep apnea in both men and women. Some women attribute their hot flashes at night to menopause, when actually sleep apnea is the true culprit. Hot flashes exclusively at night, in fact, are more commonly induced by sleep apnea than menopause.

3. You have a low libido

Beyond insufficient sleep, a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea when left untreated, hampers your libido and diminishes sex drive. It also contributes to diminished blood flow and vascular issues that lead to erectile dysfunction in men.

4. You get easily irritated or suffer from depression

Sleep apnea can cause depression, mood swings, personality changes, and irritability. Even if a sleep apnea sufferer feels as if he has slept a full eight hours, it will ultimately cause sleep deprivation. You might be more irritable, less productive and make more mistakes at work. It can also cause you to become forgetful and clumsier than normal, which in turn can cause more frustration and irritation.

5. You require frequent trips to the bathroom at night

Do you ever wake up with jaw pain or a morning headache? Do you notice drool on your pillow or a dry mouth when you start your morning? If you experience any of these things, again you may be suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea. While some of these signs may appear to be benign, this might not be the case.

6. You have gained weight gain through fuelling your fatigue

Not only can excess weight cause sleep apnea, but insufficient sleep may also lead to weight gain, making it a vicious cycle.

One reason for this is a lack of energy and motivation due to sleep deprivation. Regular exercise can improve energy levels and help maintain a healthy weight, but if you’re constantly fatigued, if you do exercise, you may find it more tiring than invigorating.

Another reason for weight gain due to sleep apnea, is that while you sleep, hormone levels that play a role in how hungry or full you feel are regulated. Without necessary rest, these levels can be disrupted, making you feel like you need to eat more.

7. You’re restless during sleep

People with sleep apnea often toss and turn and otherwise show signs of restless nighttime sleep. If you find yourself kicking, thrashing, or jerking in bed, sleep apnea might be to blame.

8. You fit the profile

Some people are at greater risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women, though the risk for women increases after menopause. And being overweight or obese increases sleep apnea risk significantly.

If you recognize any of these warning signs, talk to an Ognomy doctor. He or she might recommend a sleep study which we will send to your house, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own bed.

For more information, contact us or register as a new patient today to book your first virtual consultation with a sleep doctor.

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