Excessive daytime sleepiness is the primary symptom. Some people will deny sleepiness, but feel fatigued. Other symptoms are snoring, snorting and gasping sounds when you sleep — often first noticed by a sleeping partner. Restless or unrefreshing sleep is also typical, as are headaches in the morning.
Is sleep apnea really that big of a deal?
Yes. It has been directly linked with many life-threatening diseases such as massive heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and excessive daytime sleepiness (which can result in motor vehicle accidents).
What can you do about sleep apnea?
Treatment options are plentiful. The most common option for treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Other options include aggressive weight loss, medication, oral appliances and surgery.
Typical patterns of insomnia include the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, waking up earlier than usual and daytime fatigue. Most people with insomnia don’t fall asleep in inappropriate situations, like driving. If this does occur, it may signal that a medical disorder (such as sleep apnea) is the cause of insomnia.
The primary warning sign is the irresistible urge to move your legs shortly after you get into bed, in the middle of the night after awakening, or even when wide awake during the day. It usually feels better if you get up to walk around or rub your leg. Kicking or twitching leg movements during sleep, and sometimes while awake, may be warning signs.
Excessive sleepiness during the day, alleviated by naps, is a symptom of narcolepsy. Dreaming during naps and experiencing dream-like hallucinations as you fall asleep are also warning signs. Loss of muscle control (called catalepsy) that occurs with emotion, such as laughing or anger, and the inability to move as you’re going to sleep or waking up (called sleep paralysis) are also symptoms.