Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by partial or complete obstruction of your airway while you sleep. It is caused by sucking the tongue towards the back of the throat. The most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, daytime sleepiness, or panting from sleep. However, there are other signs that many people don’t initially realize are related to sleep apnea. Here are six surprising signs that you may have sleep apnea.
Constantly Going To The Toilet At Night
If you find yourself going to the bathroom more than once in the middle of the night, you may have sleep apnea. This condition, known as nocturia, can be caused by many different factors, but it is a common symptom in people with obstructive sleep apnea. Lack of restful sleep inhibits the production of anti-diuretic hormone, which prevents you from going to the toilet at night. Also, less deep sleep leads to greater awareness of the need to use the toilet.
Waking up with a Headache
When you consider the mechanics of sleep apnea, it’s not surprising that individuals who wake up frequently during the night are prone to morning headaches. Combine restless sleep with reduced oxygen flow to the brain and you have the perfect recipe for headaches. This type of morning headache often occurs on both sides of the head.
Many people with obstructive sleep apnea report constantly waking up with a dry mouth. Sleep apnea sufferers unconsciously breathe through their mouth to increase oxygen flow. This method of breathing is likely to dry out the mouth and even cause a sore throat. What you might just ignore as a bothersome problem may be an indication of an underlying sleep problem and risk of sleep apnea.
Uncontrollable High Blood Pressure
If a person is taking at least two blood pressure medications and is still not getting it under control, they may have sleep apnea. The sympathetic nervous system of sleep apnea sufferers is activated when their breathing is repeatedly paused during sleep, causing an increase in blood pressure.
It’s easy to write off acid reflux or nighttime heartburn as a result of an overindulgent dinner. But if you have frequent episodes of acid reflux when you wake up in the morning, you may need to evaluate your sleep. Sleep apnea weakens the lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely for stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
Do Not Delay Your Treatment!
Sleep apnea is a fairly common condition that compromises sleep quality and also affects your daily life and well-being. Fortunately, there are several treatments that can help maintain airflow while you sleep. If you identify with any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about getting a sleep evaluation and starting treatment.