Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Are You Experiencing Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

A brunette woman holds a pillow around her ears while her bedmate snores loudly.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects over 52 million Americans, causing repeated interruptions of breathing during sleep. Despite its prevalence, the disease frequently goes undiagnosed. Even though cessations in breathing signal the brain to wake up, patients do not always fully awaken, meaning that they are often unaware of the repeated interruptions and don’t know why they feel so tired during the day. There are a number of telltale sleep apnea symptoms. The experts at our San Francisco Bay Area treatment center are well aware of these signs and can help patients and physicians assess and diagnose the different types of sleep apnea. Determine your likeliness for having sleep apnea today by clicking here to fill out our complimentary online sleep assessment.


Snoring is one of the most common and noticeable symptoms of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea causes the tongue, soft palate, and uvula to fall onto the back of the throat, blocking airflow. When air is partially inhibited, the breath will have to squeeze through the narrow passage of the airway. The soft palate and the uvula vibrating, produces the sound of snoring. When the airway is fully blocked, the brain signals the body to wake up. Patients often resume breathing with a loud gasping or choking noise. Not all people that snore have sleep apnea and if you don’t snore it doesn’t mean that you are not at risk for having sleep apnea.

Exhaustion and Psychological Symptoms

Because patients are repeatedly waking up or moving to a lighter stage of sleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night, they are never able to reach or stay in the deepest cycles of sleep. As a consequence, they wake up feeling tired, and they may also have chronic headaches, blurred vision, and dry mouth. Constant feelings of exhaustion pose significant risks to sleep apnea patients. They often have decreased concentration, memory, energy, and libido. They may also experience mood swings, irritability, and poor performance at work or school. Sleep apnea sufferers also nod off during the day, including while they are driving, creating a serious danger to themselves and others on the road and at their place of work.

People with sleep apnea may experience other symptoms, including frequent nighttime urination, restlessness, high blood pressure, dry mouth, and weight gain. When left untreated, sleep apnea also causes an increased risk for other serious health conditions.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Babies and Children

Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including infants and children. It can be challenging to diagnose this condition in young patients, but there are several key symptoms that can aid doctors and sleep specialists in its detection. If your baby ceases breathing for 20 seconds or more, gasps, chokes, or turns blue while sleeping, he or she may have sleep apnea.

Older children who suffer from sleep apnea experience many of the same symptoms as adults, including snoring, gasping during sleep, interrupted sleep, and chronic exhaustion. If your child suffers from a sleep disorder, he or she may also wet the bed, exhibit slow growth and development, have behavioral problems, or display the signs of ADHD.

Contact Us

If you or a member of your family exhibits the symptoms of sleep apnea, contact SleepQuest today and we will guide you through our complimentary sleep assessment to help you decide if an at-home diagnostic test is right for you. After the home sleep study, if our board certified sleep physician determines that you do suffer from this disorder, we will work closely with you and your physician to treat your sleep apnea and provide ongoing, personal care. Most insurance companies cover our testing and treatment services based on the symptoms you are experiencing. SleepQuest is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but we proudly test and treat patients across California and the rest of the country.

About SleepQuest

"From my very first visit at SleepQuest, they offered friendly, prompt and professional service."Julie P.
"I traveled from Gilroy to Redwood City because of your knowledgeable staff."Geoff D.
"Before, I met with a Sleep Care Specialist, I had felt so awful for so long. Now, I feel like a new person with renewed energy and hope. I can’t thank SleepQuest enough for all their help."Christie V.
"I choose SleepQuest because their Sleep Care Specialists are always friendly, patience, and helpful."Jin T.

Expert Guide to Sleep Apnea 

This guide to understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) was written by SleepQuest’s Chief Scientific Officer; William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D.


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