I Sleep Alone — How Can I Tell If I Have Sleep Apnea?

January 8, 2021
Man sleeping alone

Loud, chronic snoring is one of the telltale signs of sleep apnea. But what if you don’t know if you snore? You may not have a sleeping partner who can express concern about your nighttime breathing patterns — or annoyance because of all the noise you’re making. While your dog or cat would surely tell you if they could, there are other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that may be telling you that there’s a problem. Even without a sleeping partner’s help, you should be able to make a fair guess at whether you are suffering from a sleep disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Here are some key non-snoring indicators that may point to sleep apnea:

  • You often wake up with a headache or sore throat
  • You constantly feel exhausted despite spending 7 – 9 hours sleeping
  • You suffer from insomnia
  • You get up multiple times throughout the night to urinate
  • It’s difficult for you to concentrate on everyday tasks
  • You experience mood swings
  • You sometimes wake up feeling like you are choking
  • You lack interest in sex or are experiencing sexual dysfunction

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

In addition to knowing the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, you should also be aware of the risk factors associated with this condition. If you have multiple sleep apnea risk factors, it’s possible that you suffer from this disorder even if your symptoms are relatively mild.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity
  • A large neck circumference
  • Hypertension
  • A family history of sleep apnea
  • Male gender
  • Post-menopausal (for women)
  • A small lower jaw

Does This All Sound too Familiar?

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, diagnosis and treatment are only a few steps away. First, you can take a quick and simple online sleep screener that assesses the probability that you have sleep apnea. If your assessment points to a sleep disorder, you should make an appointment for a sleep study in order to receive an official diagnosis.

Once diagnosed, you can begin treatment. One simple sleep apnea solution that has helped countless people is a custom-fit oral appliance that repositions the jaw at night to allow for unobstructed airflow. A sleep medicine expert can design such an appliance and help you reclaim your shuteye. 

Even if you sleep alone, there are strong indicators that can alert you to sleep apnea. If you think you may have this disorder, seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Hopefully, it won’t be long before you’re back to enjoying rejuvenating, uninterrupted rest.

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth Mogell, a board-certified specialist in sleep medicine with over 10 years of experience treating sleep breathing disorders is the practice’s founder and primary practitioner. The practice has four South Florida locations: Boca Raton, Melbourne, Vero Beach, and Jupiter. To learn more about Florida Dental Sleep Disorders and Dr. Kenneth Mogell, contact our team at 844-294-7559.