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Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

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The symptoms of sleep apnea when it’s occurring may include:

  • Very loud snoring
  • Episodes of long pauses of interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Possibly struggling, snorting, gasping, choking, and partially or completely awakening in an attempt to restart breathing

Symptoms that occur as a result of these episodes of sleep apnea may include:

  • Disturbed rest
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Problems staying alert or paying attention
  • Irritability
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty learning
  • Decreased energy
  • Headache
  • Sexual problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Hyperactivity in children
  • Confusion

Revision Information

  • Being evaluated for sleep apnea. American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org/resources/pubs/evaluated.html. Published May 2005. Accessed September 17, 2008.

  • Fact sheet: pediatric sleep disordered breathing/obstructive sleep apnea. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Could-Child-Have-Sleep-Apnea.cfm. Updated November 15, 2011. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep%5Fapnea/sleep%5Fapnea.htm. Updated December 28, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 23, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea%5FSummary.html . Updated July 10, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013.