Live Alone? Look for These 5 Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

April 25, 2024
Exhausted man sleeping at his computer

Very often, snoring is mentioned as a major sign that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be present. People are also admonished to seek medical care if their partner sees them stop breathing at night. But what if you live alone? You may not know if you snore or have pauses in breathing. Of course, you could record yourself while you sleep, but you should also look for other signs of sleep apnea, including the following:

You Wake Up Gasping for Air

Waking up gasping for air can have multiple causes, including panic attacks, GERD, and OSA. If this happens to you frequently, you should start keeping track of when it happens and bring that information to your healthcare provider.

You Have Morning Headaches

Morning headaches may be caused by a lack of oxygen during sleep, which can occur due to sleep apnea. These headaches usually do not last all day; rather, they may go away after a few hours.

You Wake Up with a Dry Mouth

Waking up with a dry mouth could be a simple sign that you are not drinking enough water. However, there is also the chance that your mouth is dry because you tend to breathe through it during sleep, which can cause your saliva to dry out. Mouth breathers are more likely to have sleep apnea than individuals who breathe through their nose during sleep.

You Have Pain in Your Teeth and Jaw

Pain in the teeth and jaw can indicate that you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which is due to injury or stress on your jaw joints. The pain could also indicate that your jaw is under a lot of stress during the night because it is working hard to keep your airway open so you can breathe properly. In other words, jaw pain might mean that you have OSA!

You Always Feel Worn Out

Sleep apnea sufferers do not spend an adequate amount of time in the deeper phases of sleep, so they frequently feel exhausted during the daytime hours, even if they sleep for 8 hours or longer. If you have OSA, you may sometimes nod off to sleep while watching TV, performing routine tasks at work, or even when you are driving!

How to Get a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

None of the abovementioned signs indicate for certain that you have sleep apnea. In fact, OSA is not self-diagnosable. In order to find out for sure whether you have it, you need to speak to a medical professional who can arrange for you to undergo a sleep test. After the test, you can start exploring your treatment options. Hopefully, you will soon be sleeping soundly!

Meet the Practice

For well over 10 years now, Dr. Kenneth Mogell has devoted his career to helping patients find freedom from symptoms of sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you suspect you have OSA, he and our team can help you arrange for a test and direct you on your next steps toward restful, rejuvenating nights. To learn more about how we may be able to serve you, contact any of our locations or call our Melbourne office at 321-265-3462.