Three Little-Known Signs of Sleep Apnea

by Dr. Diane Hourigan

As with many medical conditions in the 21st Century, we know a lot more about sleep apnea than we did two or three decades ago. In some ways, spotting sleep apnea can be as easy as looking for the most common side effects, which include things like snoring, constant exhaustion, and the catching of one’s breath in the middle of the night.

Other times, it might not be so easy, and frankly if you are the one experiencing the apnea, you may not notice that you’ve been snoring or catching your breath at night. In these cases, you may have to be on the lookout for some other, lesser-known symptoms of the condition.

The following is a look at some of the more little-known signs of sleep apnea:

#1 Morning Headaches

It’s easy for adults to experience headaches for any of a number of reasons. The kids are too noisy. The job is especially stressful one week. Your allergies are acting up. Despite all that, headaches also can be attached to sleep apnea. Not getting enough oxygen to the brain at any point in the day can give someone headaches, and since that’s what is happening with someone who has sleep apnea, it is not uncommon for sufferers to complain of morning headaches.

#2 Frequent Bathroom Use at Night

Many people wake up once, maybe twice a night to use the restroom, and there is absolutely nothing wrong or uncommon about that. However, people who suffer from something called nocturia, or frequent waking up during the night to urinate, may also be suffering some sleep apnea. Because apnea can wake you up while you sleep, your body may read that as needing to use the restroom. If that happens five or six times a night, it could be something to look into.

#3 Weight Gain

Not only are people with obesity more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, but there is a direct correlation between sleeping less each night (a side effect of apnea) and weight gain. In other words, it’s a bit of a vicious circle between sleep apnea, lack of sleep, and obesity. None of them help the other, and one can be a hidden side effect of the other.

Choose Us For Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you suspect you may be experiencing sleep apnea, there are a lot of things you can do, and Dr. Diane Hourigan is happy to help. Not many people immediately think of their dentist office as a place to turn for treating sleep apnea, but the truth is that our oral appliances can be just as effective as those pricey CPAP machines that don’t always work as well as patients would like.

If you would like more information about how Dr. Hourigan can help with your sleep apnea, give us a call to set up an appointment so we can help you have a better night’s sleep. Wouldn’t you like to live a life where both the better-known and lesser-known symptoms of sleep apnea are no longer a problem for you?