Sleep Apnea: 5 Warning Signs to Look Out for

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, then visiting a specialist is the first step to getting answers and treatment. We’ve put together a primer on the warning signs of sleep apnea. After reviewing the information, if you think it describes you, come in to discuss it with Dr. Ravinder Singh.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. OSA occurs when the tongue, soft palate or other tissues block the airway. In central sleep apnea, the part of the brain the regulates breathing fails to send the appropriate signal to tell your body to breathe. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Breathing may pause for 20-30 seconds at a time and can occur several times each hour. In fact, for people with severe sleep apnea, pauses in breathing can occur hundreds of times throughout the night.

Here are 5 warning signs that may indicate sleep apnea:

#1: Snoring

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. However, snoring is a major warning sign of the condition. Many people are unaware that they snore. If you have a bed partner, you may want to inquire about any sounds you make while sleeping. Snoring, snorting, and gasping are typical warning signs of sleep apnea. The louder you snore, the higher the likelihood that you have sleep apnea.

#2: Tossing and turning

Getting restful sleep is often challenging for people with sleep apnea. In fact, restless sleep is a warning sign of the condition. Patients with sleep apnea often toss and turn throughout the night and even kick and thrash while they’re sleeping. 

When you stop breathing at night, the brain sends a signal to rouse you from sleep, causing you to toss and turn and feel restless as you try to get some shut-eye.

#3: Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

The disturbances in oxygen and disruptions to deep restorative sleep caused by sleep apnea often cause patients to feel tired and sleepy during the day. If you get a full night of sleep and find that you’re constantly tired and have a difficult time staying awake during the day, sleep apnea may be affecting your sleep quality.

Because sleep regulates a wide array of vital functions, poor sleep quality can have a major impact on your health, contributing to a variety of problems from hormonal disruption to immune dysfunction.

#4: Frequent nighttime urination

Waking up at night to urinate is as common as snoring when it comes to major warning signs of sleep apnea. In fact, nearly 85% of people with sleep apnea report frequent nighttime urination, according to the American Sleep Foundation. Waking up once during the night to urinate isn’t cause for alarm. But if you find that you’re waking up multiple times during the night to urinate, it may be a sign that you have sleep apnea.

#5: Risk factors

Certain factors raise the likelihood of having or developing sleep apnea. Your risk increases further if you have more than one risk factor. 

Be on the lookout for these risk factors:

A comprehensive sleep study will help get to the bottom of your symptoms. If it turns out that you have sleep apnea, Dr. Singh will create a treatment plan to address your symptoms, improve your sleep apnea, and help you to feel and function better.

For more sleep apnea information, as well as diagnosis and treatment, call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule your appointment or use our convenient online booking form.

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