When it comes to looking for the signs of sleep apnea, many people know the more obvious symptoms such as daytime fatigue, dry mouth, and loud snoring. However, here at ApneaMed, we are dedicated to helping you identify more than just these obvious symptoms, and there are some surprising symptoms of sleep apnea you should know about.
Depression Can Be A Symptom Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be disguised by depression, as they share many of the same symptoms. Since they share symptoms, this occurrence can leave sleep apnea undiagnosed, and only the depression treated.
Yet, researchers have seen a higher prevalence of depression in obstructive sleep apnea sufferers. While it is not quite clear how these two issues directly affect each other, some people have had an alleviation of their depression when their sleep apnea was treated.
Sleep-Interrupting Bathroom Trips
In most healthy individuals, waking up in the middle of the night is an indicator that they have to go to the bathroom. However, for those with untreated sleep apnea, waking up in the middle of the night is to be expected, as their bodies wake them up when their airway becomes blocked.
So, if you have seen a rise in your nighttime bathroom breaks, it may be a sign of sleep apnea.
Weight Gain Without Any Obvious Source
Most people expect some weight gain when they are doing something to merit it such as overeating or leaving off a workout routine. But when a person experiences weight gain without any obvious reason, it may be because of undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Our bodies need uninterrupted restorative rest to properly function. Since sleep apnea causes sleep disruptions, this deep resting state is impossible to reach, leaving you with unbalanced hormones which can prompt unconscious overeating and slower metabolic processes.
Driving Abilities Have Decreased
While daytime fatigue is a commonly known symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a sign that may not be as obvious is how it affects a person’s ability to drive.
As driving requires a significant amount of concentration and sharp reaction times, those with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to see their driving abilities decrease as fatigued bodies fail to act in time.
Physical Intimacy Difficulties
Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) tend to blame the issue on low testosterone levels, but sleep apnea may be the culprit.
Recent research has begun to connect ED and sleep apnea. While it was not an issue for younger men, the male participants 65 years old and older displayed a strong connection between sleep apnea and ED. It was hypothesized that as obstructive sleep apnea would disrupt the older men’s sleep cycle, their naturally lower testosterone levels could not compensate for the disrupted sleep.
If you are concerned that you may be struggling with sleep apnea, you can easily check for this sleep disorder from the comfort of your home. By ordering the ApneaMed Home Sleep Test unit, you can use it at your home and return it to us so that our sleep physicians can review the data collected by our testing unit and give you the answers you need.