The main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are loud snoring or choking during sleep. Other less familiar signs of this condition may surprise you.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes the throat muscles to relax repeatedly during sleep. This blocks your air passage and interrupts your breathing. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Loud snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep, and waking up by huffing or choking are common symptoms of this condition. But other signs of obstructive sleep apnea may surprise you.
- 1 Surprising signs of sleep apnea
- 1.1 1 You always seem to have a headache in the morning
- 1.2 2 You can’t concentrate during the day
- 1.3 3 You have mood changes: you feel irritable or depressed
- 1.4 4 You constantly sweat while you sleep
- 1.5 5 You’re rarely in the mood for sex
- 1.6 6 You often wake up with a sore throat – but you’re not sick
Surprising signs of sleep apnea
1 You always seem to have a headache in the morning
Most mornings you wake up with a headache, which can last for several hours after you wake up. The pain is usually localized towards the front of your head and on both sides. You may feel like your head is tight.
2 You can’t concentrate during the day
You may have difficulty concentrating because obstructive sleep apnea makes it difficult to get enough restful sleep. Write down how often you have trouble concentrating at work, school, or on a project. You may also fall asleep or doze off while reading, watching TV, or driving.
3 You have mood changes: you feel irritable or depressed
You may frequently feel angry or annoyed, even in the face of slight disagreements. You may also feel generally depressed or sad and cry frequently.
4 You constantly sweat while you sleep
Regularly waking up to sweaty sheets and pajamas can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
5 You’re rarely in the mood for sex
Obstructive sleep apnea can lower your libido.
6 You often wake up with a sore throat – but you’re not sick
You may wake up with a dry and/or sore throat due to repeated gasping, choking, and blockages of airflow during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Check with your doctor if you regularly have symptoms or if your partner regularly complains about your loud snoring.