Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

2014 NATIONAL EVENT

Health & Wellness
AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

7 Signs of Sleep Apnea

The sleep disorder can easily go unnoticed. Here's what to watch for

#3: You’re exhausted all day

Despite the fact that fragmented nighttime sleep leads to chronic fatigue, daytime sleepiness is one of the most ignored signs of sleep apnea. “There are likely people out there who have had untreated sleep apnea for so long that they have gotten used to being sleep deprived,” says Edward Grandi, executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association.

Excessive daytime sleepiness is a frequently ignored sign of the condition, Grandi adds, so if you’re spending seven to nine hours in bed per night and still feel sleepy during the day, it could be a sign of sleep apnea.

#4: You have high blood pressure

Sleep apnea is linked to hypertension. According to Grandi, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode when you stop breathing and it causes your blood pressure to spike.  “This happens over and over throughout the night,” he says. “Eventually, your blood pressure doesn’t dip anymore, it stays elevated, putting you at risk for cardiovascular disease.”

#5: You go to the bathroom often during the night

Frequent nighttime urination, called nocturia, affects nearly 65 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 84, according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation. While nocturia could be linked to aging, it’s also a classic sign of sleep apnea (the fight or flight response triggers a feeling of fullness in the bladder, according to Twery). The possibility of sleep apnea should be considered if you routinely wake up to use the bathroom during the night.

#6: You wake up with a headache

Sleep apnea sufferers may complain of morning headaches. The reason: frequent pauses in breathing during the night decrease the oxygen levels in the brain, causing pain. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that headaches were more frequent and lasted longer as sleep apnea became more severe.

#7: You’re overweight or obese

Up to 67 percent of people diagnosed with sleep apnea are overweight (with a BMI over 25), according to Kushida. As your weight increases, the fat pads that surround your airway also get larger, narrowing the opening and making it more difficult to breathe. “Losing weight most likely won’t make the condition go away but it can improve it,” says Kushida.

Also of interest: Experimental cooling caps may help treat insomnia.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.