6 surprising signs you may have obstructive sleep apnea

The main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep. Other less-familiar signs of the condition might surprise you.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep condition that causes the muscles in your throat to relax repeatedly during sleep. This blocks your air passage and interrupts your breathing.

Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Loud snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep and waking up gasping or choking are common symptoms of the condition. But other signs of obstructive sleep apnea might surprise you.

Less-familiar signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. You always seem to have a headache in the morning. You wake up most mornings with a headache, which can last for several hours after you get up. The pain is usually located toward the front of your head and on both sides. It might feel as if your head is being squeezed.
  2. You can't concentrate during the day. You might have trouble concentrating because obstructive sleep apnea makes it hard to get enough restorative sleep. Keep track of how often it's difficult for you to concentrate at work, at school or on a project. You may also find yourself falling asleep or nodding off while reading, watching television or driving.
  3. You experience mood changes, such as feeling irritable or depressed. You might frequently feel angry or annoyed, even at slight inconveniences. You may also feel generally down, depressed or sad and frequently cry.
  4. You constantly sweat in your sleep. Waking up to sweaty sheets and pajamas on a regular basis may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
  5. You rarely feel in the mood for sex. Obstructive sleep apnea can decrease your libido.
  6. You often wake up with a sore throat — but you aren't sick. You might wake up with a dry and/or sore throat due to repeated gasping, choking and blocked airflow during sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Check with your doctor if you experience symptoms on a regular basis or if your partner routinely complains about your loud snoring.

Aug. 14, 2020 See more In-depth

See also

  1. Medication-free hypertension control
  2. Alcohol: Does it affect blood pressure?
  3. Alpha blockers
  4. Ambien: Is dependence a concern?
  5. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  6. Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  7. Anxiety: A cause of high blood pressure?
  8. Bedtime routines: Not just for babies
  9. Beta blockers
  10. Beta blockers: Do they cause weight gain?
  11. Beta blockers: How do they affect exercise?
  12. Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
  13. Blood pressure chart
  14. Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter?
  15. Blood pressure: Does it have a daily pattern?
  16. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather?
  17. Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight?
  18. Blood pressure medications: Can they raise my triglycerides?
  19. Blood pressure readings: Why higher at home?
  20. Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium
  21. Blood pressure tip: Get off the couch
  22. Blood pressure tip: Know alcohol limits
  23. Blood pressure tip: Stress out no more
  24. Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine
  25. Blood pressure tip: Watch your weight
  26. Caffeine and hypertension
  27. Calcium channel blockers
  28. Calcium supplements: Do they interfere with blood pressure drugs?
  29. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  30. Can't sleep? Try daytime exercise
  31. Central-acting agents
  32. Choosing blood pressure medications
  33. Coffee after dinner? Make it decaf
  34. Counting calories
  35. Diuretics
  36. Diuretics: A cause of low potassium?
  37. Do you know your blood pressure?
  38. Does obstructive sleep apnea increase my risk for Alzheimer's disease?
  39. High blood pressure and exercise
  40. Foods and sleep
  41. Free blood pressure machines: Are they accurate?
  42. Home blood pressure monitoring
  43. Headache
  44. High blood pressure (hypertension)
  45. High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
  46. High blood pressure and sex
  47. High blood pressure: Can you prevent it?
  48. High blood pressure dangers
  49. How to get used to positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy
  50. Hypertensive crisis: What are the symptoms?
  51. Improve obstructive sleep apnea with physical activity
  52. Insomnia
  53. Insomnia: How do I stay asleep?
  54. Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills
  55. Isolated systolic hypertension: A health concern?
  56. Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
  57. L-arginine: Does it lower blood pressure?
  58. Living better with obstructive sleep apnea
  59. Making sense of obstructive sleep apnea treatments
  60. Medications and supplements that can raise your blood pressure
  61. Menopause and high blood pressure: What's the connection?
  62. Not tired? Don't go to bed
  63. Sleep apnea, obstructive
  64. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  65. Obstructive sleep apnea: How quickly will I see results from treatment?
  66. Pillar procedure
  67. Polysomnography (sleep study)
  68. Pregnancy and obesity
  69. Prescription sleeping pills: What's right for you?
  70. Pulse pressure: An indicator of heart health?
  71. Resperate: Can it help reduce blood pressure?
  72. Septoplasty
  73. Shortness of breath
  74. Skip booze for better sleep
  75. Sleep deprivation: A cause of high blood pressure?
  76. CPAP masks
  77. Stress and high blood pressure
  78. Tonsillectomy
  79. Tracheostomy
  80. Valerian: A safe and effective herbal sleep aid?
  81. Vasodilators
  82. How to measure blood pressure using a manual monitor
  83. How to measure blood pressure using an automatic monitor
  84. Obstructive sleep apnea: What happens?
  85. What is blood pressure?
  86. Can having vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?
  87. Weightlifting: Bad for your blood pressure?
  88. What's your high blood pressure risk?
  89. White coat hypertension
  90. Wrist blood pressure monitors: Are they accurate?