Here’s a checklist of 10 signs that are very suspicious for sleep apnea. How many apply to you?

You may think you know all the signs of sleep apnea, but this list will enlighten you and make you really wonder if you just mght have this very often-misdiagnosed condition.

“Sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure,” says Daniel Rifkin, MD, a sleep medicine expert at the Sleep Medicine Centers of Western New York.

“In fact, sleep apnea is one of the common causes of high blood pressure –also known as hypertension.

“We all know the dangers of hypertension including kidney disease, heart disease and so on.”

“Sleep apnea makes you more likely to have atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm.

“This can increase your risk of stroke. Furthermore, like noted above with hypertension, sleep apnea, independent of atrial fibrillation, can increase your risk of stroke.

“Almost every patient with stroke should be tested for sleep apnea, as it is seen in 69% of patients with stroke.”

10 Signs You Might Have Sleep Apnea

#1     You snore.

#2     You snort and gasp in your sleep.

#3     People tell you your breathing stops during sleep, then after up to 30 seconds or more, resumes, sometimes followed by a gasp.

#4     You just have to have your daily naps. You’ve repeatedly told yourself that napping is a healthy habit and can’t possibly mean you have a health problem.

You’ve also told yourself that it’s normal to nap for two hours nearly every day despite getting at least eight hours of sleep overnight.

#5     You tell people that your naps are necessary because you “put in long hours at work” or have three young children who keep you on your toes all day long. In short, you keep coming up with excuses.

#6     You keep blaming the frequent morning headaches on either overnight dehydration or lying funny on your pillow.

#7     You blame the most comfortable chair in the house for making you fall asleep nearly every time you watch TV or read.

#8     You’ve convinced yourself that your fatigue is due to not being as young as you used to be or maybe it’s caused by recently gaining 10 pounds. 

#9     Your irritability and difficulty with concentration is due to stress — or so you keep telling yourself.

#10     Getting up several times overnight to void is perfectly normal in people over 40, you keep reminding yourself every time a lot of urine comes out of you in the middle of the night.

Sleep Apnea Checklist

Having just one of the above signs doesn’t automaticaly mean you have OSA. 

In fact, none of the above symptoms is caused ONLY by sleep apnea.

However, all of the signs in the checklist deserve an evaluation by a physician.

Dr. Rifkin is board certified in both neurology and sleep medicine. He also treats insomnia, RLS and narcolepsy. 

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/Maria Sbytova