Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea


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It is difficult to fully be aware of sleep apnoea (also spelled 'sleep apnea'), as the difficulties with your breathing can go unnoticed. Your family or friends are probably more likely to bring the disorder to your attention. However, if you are feeling fatigued, some of the following symptoms may be experienced, and if you are experiencing some of the following, then you may need to begin to investigate your sleeping pattern further.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea

  • Snoring (absence of this does not suggest that you are not suffering from sleep apnoea)
  • Gasping for breath at night
  • Grogginess during the day
  • Excessive urination at night
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Breathing pauses at night, noticed by your partner
  • Mood swings and changes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Finding that napping does not refresh you

Children with Sleep Apnoea

    Around 2% of children are also found to suffer from sleep apnoea and the symptoms may vary, including:

  • Bed-Wetting
  • Headaches
  • Changes in behaviour; hyper-active and some children have been wrongly diagnosed with ADHD disorder
  • Struggling with breathing at night
  • Sometimes they may sleep longer than other children
  • Failure to gain weight and grow

Obesity & Sleep Apnoea

Obesity is also linked to sleep apnoea, and it can either be obesity causing the sleep apnoea, or the sleep apnoea contributing to obesity. Sleeping disorders are highly linked to contributing to weight gain due to lowered metabolism levels. Obesity, particularly of the upper body can cause the airways to be blocked with fatty deposits. Unfortunately, people who suffer unaware of their sleep apnoea will often turn to stimulants such as chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks and so forth in order to try and overcome their daytime tiredness, creating a vicious circle between obesity and sleep apnoea.

Blocked Nose & Sleep Apnoea

There is also a link between sleep apnoea and blocked noses, namely for longer periods of time, so people who suffer from hay-fever are more likely to become sleep apnoea sufferers. The blocked nose causes discharge to block their airways and statistics have noted a decline in sleep apnoea cases outside of the allergy season. Therefore, if you do suffer from hay-fever, and unexplainable fatigue and tiredness, it may be worthwhile to assess whether your breathing is regular during your sleep.

These are just a few of the complaints you may experience as a sleep apnoea sufferer. If you find that several of the symptoms are relevant to you, you may wish to assess your sleeping patterns further to try and establish what solutions are available for you. As it is hard to detect sleep apnoea for yourself, you may need to employ a partner or friend to help complete a sleep diary to monitor your sleeping patterns and most importantly, seek medical advice.


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