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Health Information Center

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Problems from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be:

  • Poor sleep quality
  • Snoring
  • Waking at night with gasps, problems breathing, or coughing
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of focus during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up to pass urine
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sexual problems

Problems from central sleep apnea (CSA) may be:

  • Frequent waking
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Waking at night with problems breathing
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep

A person's sleep partner may notice some of these symptoms while their partner sleeps.


  • Central sleep apnea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/central-sleep-apnea.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/obstructive-sleep-apnea-osa-in-adults.
  • Sleep apnea. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-apnea.
  • Sleep apnea. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/sleep-apnea.
  • Snoring, sleeping disorders, and sleep apnea. ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/snoring-sleeping-disorders-and-sleep-apnea.
  • What is sleep apnea? American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: https://www.sleepapnea.org/what-is-sleep-apnea.


  • James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.