5 Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea You Shouldn’t Ignore

Doctor writing word Sleep Apnea with marker, Medical concept

Have you been suffering from symptoms like snoring, exhaustion, and frequent headaches? If you see any of the signs of sleep apnea in this article, chances are you might have it.

Sleep apnea: you’ve probably heard the term, but do you know what it’s really all about? More importantly, how do you know if you have sleep apnea?

About 1 in 5 Americans suffer from sleep apnea, whether it be mild or severe. And that’s just the Americans who have been diagnosed. Another 80% of Americans who show signs of sleep apnea are going undiagnosed.

Don’t let it happen to you. Read on to learn everything you need to look out for.


The most obvious sign of sleep apnea? Snoring. If you’re keeping your partner up at night, sleep apnea could be the reason why.

Sometimes, snoring is just snoring. If you’ve got a temporary illness, like hay fever or a cold, snoring can come on– but it’ll leave as you get better. If you went to bed inebriated, snoring can come on, too.

But if it’s constant, you might want to get checked out for sleep apnea.

Being Overweight

If you’re overweight, you’re automatically more at risk for sleep apnea. This is because your heart has to work harder to deal with the slight cardiac event of being deprived oxygen as you sleep.

Even if your airway is only blocked for a second or two, your heart still has to deal with that stress. Keeping your BMI under 30 is ideal for optimal health, which means minimizing your risk for sleep apnea.

Having a hard time sticking to a diet? Remember that you’re only sabotaging yourself by not working that heart regularly! There are lots of sleep apnea specialists who focus on weight loss as sleep apnea treatment if you find you just can’t do it on your own.

Waking up Exhausted

Do you ever wake up in the morning pressing snooze a thousand times? Or feeling like you just closed your eyes, and it’s already morning?

If you’re getting eight hours of sleep and still waking up exhausted in the morning, it could mean that you’re not getting into a REM sleep cycle. Sleep apnea prevents this by waking you up periodically throughout the night, even if you’re not consciously aware of it.

As your circadian rhythm attempts to take you into a deep sleep, your airway is blocked, preventing oxygen from reaching your heart. Your body is jolted back to the surface. If this happens enough times in the night, it can mean that you never make it to REM.

Dry Mouth in the Morning

If the first thing you do in the morning is reach for your water bottle, you could be suffering from a dry mouth. But how is that connected to sleep apnea?

It’s simple. As your lungs struggle to pull as much oxygen as they need through your blocked airway, your mouth opens to help out. You breathe through the night through your mouth and nose, both working together to combat the blocked airway.

If you’re asking yourself “what does sleep apnea look like?” the answer is a dry, chalky tongue in the morning.

Do You See Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Are you experiencing any of the above symptoms? If so, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to undergo a sleep study. Your symptoms could be signs of sleep apnea.

Want to make sure the rest of your health is on track? Check out all our health articles, which cover everything from quitting smoking to creative exercise routines. Your body will thank you later.

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