Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are many sleep apnea symptoms. Some people with obstructive sleep apnea complain that they wake up with a very sore and/or dry throat.
They may on occasion wake up with a choking or gasping sensation and sometimes seem to wake themselves up with their own snoring.
A person with obstructive sleep apnea often reports sleepiness during the day due to fragmented sleep.
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are
- Frequent cessation of breathing ( apnea) during sleep. Your sleep partner may notice repeated silences from your side of the bed.
- Personality changes
- Choking, gasping, or gagging during sleep to get air into the lungs
- Loud snoring
- Daytime sleepiness, including falling asleep at inappropriate times, such as during driving or at work
- Waking up sweating during the night
- Feeling unrefreshed in the morning after a night’s sleep
- Headaches upon awakening
- Rapid weight gain
- Memory loss and learning difficulties
High blood pressure – Warning sign of sleep apnea:
Stress on the heart increases due to the frequent breathing cessation during night (for every 1 to 4 minutes). The sympathetic system gets activated as the oxygen saturation in the blood decreases and the apnea continues. Therefore, nerve and adrenaline signals are sent to the blood vessels to constrict and to the heart to work harder.
More blood is sent to brain and muscles when blood vessels constrict. This increases blood pressure, which needs the heart to work harder for pumping blood through smaller blood vessels.
The signal that makes the heart to work harder and lower availability of oxygen in the blood can cause more stress on the heart during night. Night is the time when the heart usually works less.
People with obstructive sleep apnea who do not have high blood pressure, forty five percent will develop it within four years. When sleep apnea is treated, blood pressure reduces.