If you wake up feeling fatigued often, you’re not alone. A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation showed that Americans feel sleepy an average of three days a week, with more than a quarter of people (28%) reporting that they feel sleepy five to seven days a week.

Though general fatigue is a common complaint among many working adults, what some don’t know is that it could be a symptom of a dangerous disorder. Sleep apnea affects an estimated 26% of Americans–remarkably close to the number of people who say they feel sleepy most days a week.

Sleep apnea carries with it several severe complications, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and liver problems, and can even result in death.

There’s good news, though: sleep apnea is treatable. Not only that, but it has multiple treatment options, including a comfortable, convenient CPAP alternative from the Wichita Falls sleep dentists at StarImage Dentistry. The only problem is that most people with sleep apnea–perhaps 80% of them–don’t know they have it.

That’s why we’re highlighting these symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have daytime sleepiness or any of these other symptoms, you should talk to a Wichita Falls sleep dentist about getting a sleep test.

When Migraine Pain Might Actually Be TMD

Frequent Headaches in the Morning

Often a side-effect of poor sleep is headaches, especially in the morning. Not only can these ruin your productivity for much of the day, but they could also be a sign of sleep apnea. During the night, sleep apnea affects your airways, which results in oxygen deprivation for your brain. The result is poor sleep and sometimes a headache.

The classic sleep apnea headache starts before you wake up and lasts for several hours in the morning. However, people with sleep apnea also experience more frequent migraine headaches and tension headaches.

Dry Mouth in the Morning

Do you immediately wake and reach for a glass of water? Do you feel hoarse while speaking in the morning? Because obstructive sleep apnea partially blocks your airways, you are forced to breathe through your mouth, which can make it dry in the morning. This could also have negative effects on your teeth and gums, as the absence of saliva can promote tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.

Teeth or Jaw Sensitivity

Bruxism, or the inadvertent clenching of the teeth or jaws during sleep, can occur when the body is under duress caused by sleep apnea. Teeth clenching is sometimes related to your body trying to hold the airway open.

If you wake up with jaw pain or are experiencing tooth sensitivity when chewing, you should see a dentist immediately. Another cause could be TMJ, which is a degenerative disease that may destabilize your jaw over time.

Loud Snoring

People with sleep apnea often snore. In sleep apnea, your airway closes during sleep, cutting off your access to oxygen. However, before your airway closes completely, it narrows. This creates a turbulent airflow in your throat, which creates vibrations that people hear as snoring.

The louder your snore, the more likely it is that you have sleep apnea.

Gasping or Choking During Sleep

When your airway closes, cutting off your sleep, you might make a gasping or choking sound. You might not know this, but a sleeping partner might notice it.

If someone you sleep with tells you that you have these fits of gasping or choking at night, you should get a sleep test.

Frequent Urination at Night

During deep sleep, the body slows down several of its functions, including the production and elimination of urine. If you’re waking up frequently to urinate at night (called nocturia), there is something wrong with your sleep.

Often that something is sleep apnea. When your airway closes, it creates a sensation in your chest similar to an excess of fluids, which causes your body to release hormones that increase the production of urine.

Resistant Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

High blood pressure is common among adults in the US. However, most high blood pressure responds well to commonly prescribed medications. When medication can’t control your high blood pressure, it’s likely that you have sleep apnea.

When your brain senses low oxygen levels in your blood, it not only awakens partially, it tells your heart to pump harder and faster. Over time, these repeated prompts to your heart can lead to permanently spiked blood pressure. Sleep apnea is more effective at elevating your blood pressure than medications are at bringing it down, so many people need to treat sleep apnea before they can get their blood pressure under control.

Get Tested for Sleep Apnea in Wichita Falls

The first step in treating sleep apnea is finding out whether you have it. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should request a sleep test, especially if you also have daytime sleepiness. A sleep dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls can help you get a convenient, at-home sleep test that you can take in the comfort of your own bed.

If you are tired of snoring or sleep apnea and want to get a good night’s rest, please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX, located near Wichita Falls High School.