ZocdocAnswersIf I have trouble sleeping does it mean that I have sleep apnea?

Question

If I have trouble sleeping does it mean that I have sleep apnea?

I snore and have trouble sleeping sometimes. Like I wake up during the night. Does this mean that I have sleep apnea? Is it the same as just not being able to sleep right?

Answer

There are multiple potential causes of poor sleeping. The fact that you snore and wake up frequently during the night could be an indication of sleep apnea. As you probably known, sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the neck and throat collapse intermittently during sleep leading to a disruption of breathing and, usually, multiple awakenings through the night. This typically produces excessive daytime fatigue even though the person with sleep apnea may have technically been in bed for a theoretically sufficient amount of rest. Sleep apnea is definitely more common in those who snore or who are overweight. If you think you have sleep apnea, you should see your primary care doctor. If they agree with your symptoms, they will probably want to refer you for a sleep study to establish the diagnosis. At the same time, they will be able to help you determine if you have any other potential causes of sleep disruption. For example, numerous common medications can interfere with sleep patterns. Similarly, alcohol and caffeine intake disruption sleep onset or sleep architecture and can be a major cause of insomnia. Start by setting up a visit with your primary care doctor as soon as possible!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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