Waking up and feeling like you didn’t sleep a wink is not a great way to start your day. Usually, if every morning feels like this, it’s a clear indication that something is going wrong with your night of sleep. It can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is causing you to sleep so poorly, though. One of the ways to figure it out is to look at all your symptoms and talk to a doctor.

Unfortunately, a lot of people ignore their symptoms and pass them off as being normal. To help you get a better night of sleep and the treatment you need, at Firouzian Sleep Wellness, we encourage you to keep an eye out for the following sleep apnea symptoms. If you notice any of these, they shouldn’t be ignored.

man laying on his side snoring in bed

Choking or Coughing During Sleep

One of the most important symptoms of sleep apnea is choking, coughing, or gasping for air during sleep. These sensations can happen repeatedly throughout the night and are a sign that you likely have sleep apnea. The reason you choke, cough, or gasp throughout the night is because your airway becomes obstructed. Your oxygen level drops and alerts your brain to wake you up to clear your airway. The coughing, choking, and gasping is your body’s natural reaction to being oxygen-deprived. Once you fall back asleep, your airway becomes obstructed again and the process repeats itself throughout the night.

Most people don’t even remember waking up doing this throughout the night. Oftentimes, a sleep partner will tell them it happened. If you experience this symptom of sleep apnea, you should not ignore it. Instead, you should schedule a consultation with our sleep dentist, Dr. Firouzian.

Snoring Loudly

Another sign of sleep apnea that you shouldn’t ignore is snoring. Most people pass off snoring as just a funny or annoying noise that happens during sleep. However, snoring is a sign that air isn’t flowing freely through your airway. There are many causes of snoring and sleep apnea is just one of them. To play it safe, we recommend getting tested for sleep apnea.

Lack of Energy During the Day

Waking up repeatedly throughout the night to catch your breath isn’t a great way to get a good night of sleep. This constant disruption will actually prevent your body from going through its natural sleep cycles and giving you the restoration you absolutely need. As a result, you will wake up not feeling refreshed and feeling a lack of energy throughout the day. You may even doze off at the wheel or at work from your poor sleep quality.

Difficulty Concentrating

The lack of restorative sleep in your life will also greatly impact your ability to concentrate during the day. When you feel sleepy and lack energy, your body doesn’t care about anything but conserving energy. This can make it difficult to concentrate on anything throughout the day. Oftentimes, those with untreated sleep apnea will have poor school or work performance because they’re unable to concentrate. It can also result in dangerous consequences if you operate heavy machinery at work.

Memory Loss

Every night while you sleep, your body goes through your memories of the day and files them away in your brain. Think of your brain as a huge filing cabinet. When you have sleep apnea, your brain isn’t getting the deep sleep it needs to store away all your memories. Instead, it’s throwing important information in the trash can because it doesn’t have the energy to store it away. If you have sleep apnea, you likely also experience memory loss.

Morning Headaches

Another symptom of sleep apnea you shouldn’t ignore are morning headaches. If you wake up from a long night of sleep with a pounding headache, it can be from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea prevents your brain from getting enough oxygen while you sleep. Since you’re not intaking enough oxygen, you’re also not expelling carbon dioxide. The buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood can dilate the brain’s arteries which increases blood flow but also increases pressure inside the skull. The pressure buildup in such a confined space will then cause headaches.

Although morning headaches fade a few hours after waking, they can greatly impact your quality of life every morning. 

Waking Up With Dry Mouth and Sore Throat

If you have sleep apnea, you’re likely sleeping with your mouth open all night. Mouth breathing combined with snoring can dry out your mouth and also cause a sore throat. Eventually, the dry mouth can result in increased dental problems.

Sleepiness While Driving

The last symptom of sleep apnea you shouldn’t ignore is feeling sleepy when driving. Untreated sleep apnea can cause you to fall asleep at the wheel and put your life and others on the road at great risk. If you feel too tired to drive, you should not get behind the wheel.

Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Columbus, OH

If you experience any of the sleep apnea symptoms listed above, it’s important to not ignore them. Not only can sleep apnea have a huge impact on your quality of life, but also your overall health. Dr. Firouzian at Firouzian Sleep Wellness can help you get diagnosed with sleep apnea and find the right treatment to help you get your life back. Contact us to learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Columbus, OH today by calling (614) 683-4640.