Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can affect both men and women. There are certain risk factors that could increase your chances of developing obstructive or central sleep apnea, including being overweight, having large tonsils or a large tongue, or sinus and allergy problems.
Look over the following 10 sleep apnea symptoms and consult a doctor if the problems persist.
2#3 – Awakening with a Shortness of Breath
Awakening with a shortness of breath is more commonly connected to central sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted due to blockage or issues with your airways. These interruptions may last 10 seconds or longer, but do not always cause the sufferer to wake. Central sleep apnea is much more likely to lead to regular awakening with a shortness of breath.
Central sleep apnea is a condition in which your brain has difficulty signaling your breathing mechanisms for a short period of time. When this occurs, sufferers of central sleep apnea will often awake, which then triggers the brain to breathe properly. The momentary lapse in breathing may cause you to gasp or experience a shortness of breath.
Along with central sleep apnea, awakening with a shortness of breath could be the result of a condition called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND). With PND, you will typically experience a shortness of breath in the evening, before you go to bed. Then, during the night, you may wake suddenly and frequently with a shortness of breath.
If you often wake up and need to gasp for breath, you should begin writing down your experiences in a journal. Try to keep track of whether or not you experience any shortness of breath during the day – particularly, the last few hours of the evening before you go to bed. Central sleep apnea, PDN, and another condition called orthopnea, may be the cause of your shortness of breath.
#4 – Awakening with a Dry Mouth
If you regularly wake up with a dry mouth or a sore throat, you may be experiencing a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. The constant interruptions in breathing throughout the night can dry your throat, leading to a sore or swollen throat.
You should also remember that a dry mouth could be caused by another issue. Some people tend to breathe through their nose during sleep, while others may breathe primarily through their mouth. Mouth breathing can lead to a dry mouth or a sore throat. The humidity of your bedroom may also play a role in the severity of your dry mouth.
For those that wake up with a dry mouth, you should determine the humidity of your bedroom and the rest of your home. A hygrometer should only cost you a couple of dollars and will allow you to accurately measure the humidity levels in your house.
Ideally, your humidity levels should be between 30 and 50 percent. Low humidity, which is common during the winter, can dry your mouth out. In order to add humidity, consider placing a humidifier in your bedroom.
You may also want to drink a glass of water shortly before you go to bed. This will help hydrate your throat and may help alleviate your sore throat problems.
If the issues persist, after checking the humidity level in your bedroom and drinking a glass of water before bed, then you might want to consider sleep apnea or another health problem as the potential cause of your dry throat.