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How To Know If You Have Sleep Apnea: 5 Common Signs

sleep apnea featured woman on bed 1 - SleepSharp

If you frequently wake up during the night and feel tired throughout the day, one of the possible reasons could be sleep apnea. It’s a chronic condition that impacts your quality of sleep and can even be a contributing factor to anxiety and panic attacks.

Suffering from sleep apnea is more common than you may think and the most reported case of this sleeping condition is known as obstructive sleep apnea. This involves your airways being unable to let air into your body due to collapsing or being obstructed.

Other people also suffer from central sleep apnea. This form of sleep apnea involves the brain not being able to send the right signals to the body. So, the body can forget to breathe while you’re trying to sleep.

People suffering from sleep apnea are at a higher risk of developing more serious health problems such as strokes and heart issues. Therefore, the more you know about the symptoms, the better chance you’ll have at fixing the problem and keeping yourself healthy.

Read next: 5 Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea

5 Signs You Have Sleep Apnea 

Waking Up Gasping For Air

Among one of the more common signs that you have sleep apnea includes the sensation of waking up feeling out of breath and having to gasp for air. This is a symptom of sleep apnea that can lead to anxiety problems.

If you wake up choking or gasping for air often, we recommend that you visit your doctor to get the best help possible. This is because the impact of not being able to breathe for durations of time throughout the night means that your brain and body are getting a lack of oxygen that can lead to more serious health problems.

Dry Mouth

Many people wake up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and need a glass of water as quickly as possible. A lot of the time, this is due to sleeping with your mouth open.

However, another possible reason for this is that your body is struggling to get enough air and it’s having to open your mouth wider in an attempt to breathe better. If so, this is a sign of sleep apnea.

Sore Jaw 

Waking up in the morning with sensitive teeth and a painful jaw can come down to grinding your teeth together throughout the night. People often do this during times when they’re stressed and they’re unaware that they do it in their sleep.

Having said that, if you wake up with sensitive teeth and a sore jaw along with any of the other symptoms mentioned in this post, it’s more likely that sleep apnea is the problem.

This is because the body is struggling to get enough oxygen and it causes the muscles around your jaw to become strained.

Fatigue & Headaches

Often, people with sleep apnea won’t remember waking up during the night if they’ve experienced teeth grinding, a dry mouth, or not being able to breathe. However, they may wake up in the mornings with severe headaches and feel fatigued.

A reason for this could be because sleep apnea is ruining the quality of their sleep which causes them to wake up feeling tired and with bad headaches. If you wake up in the morning with a headache a lot of the time, it means your deep sleep quality is poor.

Feeling fatigued throughout the day is another sign that sleep apnea could be disrupting how well you’re able to sleep at night.

Excessive Snoring

Snoring loudly is a difficult contributor towards sleep apnea to identify for yourself as you don’t usually wake yourself up. This is something that you can identify by asking other people in your household to keep an eye on it. 

Most of the time, snoring isn’t anything dangerous to be concerned about. Although, when the snoring becomes excessively loud over a consistent period, it can be a potential sign of sleep apnea.

Are There Ways To Prevent Sleep Apnea?

People who have been scared to go to sleep because of sleep apnea may want to try out some of these prevention methods:

If you’ve tried these preventative methods and had no success, you’ll want to talk to a doctor. In the more severe cases, a breathing device may need to be worn which can help you sleep better at night. For others, they may require surgery.

Read next: 5 Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea can lead to more serious health problems if you’re not able to identify the condition early enough. If you’ve been concerned that you’re suffering from sleep apnea, be sure to take notes of what disrupts your sleep at night and whether any of the signs mentioned in our post are a recurring problem.

If so, try using some of the prevention methods that we’ve discussed to see if it makes a difference. We recommend that you speak to a doctor and get professional help if the prevention tips don’t help. Hopefully, you can use the details found throughout our post to help you know if you have sleep apnea.

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