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6 Sleep Apnea Symptoms You Should Know About

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    Daytime Sleepiness

    Yawning and on your third cup of coffee before noon? Sleep apnea interrupts your sleep patterns because of the constant stopping and starting of your breathing. This could be to blame for your bout of all-day exhaustion, says Robert Rosenberg, MD, medical director for the Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day. We aren't talking about a bit of drowsiness because you're tackling a big project at work—this is consistent, constant fatigue.

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    Frequent Late-Night Bathroom Breaks

    If you have so many middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom that you could walk the route with your eyes closed, it could be a symptom of sleep apnea. The reasoning: When you attempt to breathe through a closed pathway, the heart produces a hormone that increases urination, Rosenberg says.

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    Morning Headaches

    Do you start your day with a pounding headache? It might not be the lack of coffee: "Episodes of sleep apnea cause elevations in blood pressure, drops in oxygen, and elevations of carbon dioxide, all of which can produce headaches upon awakening," Rosenberg says.

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    Trouble Concentrating

    Sleep apnea causes your body's oxygen level to drop, stressing out your body, causing it to produce cortisol, which can impair cerebral function. If you can remember that you had a bad night of rest last night, but not much else, you may want to book an appointment with your doc.

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    Abruptly Waking Up

    Even though the quality of your sleep may not be great, there's a good possibility that you aren't even aware of all the interruptions when you're snoozing. But if you find yourself suddenly jolting awake and short of breath (due to the lack of oxygen in your body), it could be a sign that your body is struggling with sleep apnea.

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    Chronic Snoring

    No one symptom means you have sleep apnea, but if any of these signs are accompanied by chronic snoring (loud enough to disturb your sleep or your partner's sleep), it may be time to have a more serious conversation with your doctor. If left untreated, the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is very high.