How to know if you have sleep apnea

Woman Sleeping

Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep condition that can stop your breathing without you even knowing it. Diagnosing yourself with sleep apnea can be tricky. The only time that you exhibit symptoms is when you are, of course, asleep. The best method of determining if you have it is to have someone (such as your significant other) watch for these signs as you sleep:


  • Really intense and loud snoring
  • Long pauses between snoring and/or breathing (as in ten seconds or more)
  • Restless sleep
  • Gasping for air


These signs point to sleep apnea. However, what do you do if you sleep alone? Is there no way to tell? Not at all! If you have nobody to look for symptoms, follow these suggestions:


  • Pay attention to yourself during the day. Excessive tiredness and consistent morning headaches are signs that sleep apnea is disrupting your sleep
  • Simply set up a camera and record yourself as you sleep, and watch for the first four bullet items


If you suspect you have sleep apnea, see your doctor immediately. Your doctor may subscribe a sleep study, which will further determine the severity of your condition. Once you know you have sleep apnea, it’s also important to see a dentist. Why? Your dentist can fit you with a device that ensures your airway is open during sleep, making sure you breathe normally all night long (go here for more info).



Photo by Aweisenfels (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons