With sleep apnea, there are symptoms that you may notice and symptoms that others may notice when you're asleep.
Symptoms you may notice include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Waking with an unrefreshed feeling after sleep, having
problems with memory and concentration, feeling tired, and experiencing
- Morning or night headaches. About half of all
people with sleep apnea report headaches.2
- Heartburn or a sour taste in the mouth at
- Swelling of the legs.
- Getting up during the night to urinate.
- Sweating and chest pain while you are sleeping.
Symptoms others may notice include:
- Episodes of not breathing (apnea), which may
occur as few as 5 times an hour (mild apnea) to more than 50 times an hour
(severe apnea). How many episodes you have determines
how severe your sleep apnea is.
snoring. Almost all people who have sleep apnea snore. But not all people who snore have sleep apnea.
- Restless tossing and
turning during sleep.
- Nighttime choking or gasping spells.
Symptoms in children
Children who have sleep apnea nearly always snore. But
they may not appear to be excessively sleepy during the day (a key symptom in
- In children younger than 5, other symptoms include:
- Mouth breathing.
- Waking up a
- In children 5 years and older, other symptoms include:
- Doing poorly in school.
- Not growing as quickly as they should for
their age. This may be the only symptom in some children. These children may also have behavior problems and a short attention
In rare cases,
sleep apnea in children can cause
developmental delays and can cause failure
of the right side of the heart (cor pulmonale).
Other conditions with symptoms similar to sleep apnea
include other sleep disorders and an underactive thyroid.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
June 17, 2011
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