Symptoms of a Sleep Disorder

Sleep disorder symptoms may include:

  • Snoring
  • Excessive sleepiness or daytime fatigue
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Obesity (BMI greater than 30)
  • High Blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor judgment/concentration, depression. Irritability, and/or memory loss
  • Large neck size (greater than 17” in men; greater than 16” in women)
  • Morning headaches
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Frequent urination at night

Approximately 1 in 15 or 18 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem. About 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, and an additional 20-30 million are affected by intermittent sleep-related problems. However, an overwhelming majority of sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated (National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 1992).

According to the Nation Sleep Foundation’s 2001 “Sleep in America” poll, nearly seven out of 10 Americans said they experience frequent sleep problems, although most have not been diagnosed.

More than two-thirds of all children (69%) experience one or more sleep problems at least a few nights a week (2004 Sleep in America Poll). Two thirds of older adults (67%) report frequent sleep problems, however only a small fraction, one in eight, says those problems have been diagnosed (2003 Sleep in America poll).

While many Americans enjoy benefits of sufficient sleep, as many as 47 million adults may be putting themselves at risk for injury, health and behavior problems because they aren’t meeting their minimum sleep need in order to be fully alert the next day (2002 Sleep in America poll).

A majority of American adults (63%) do not get the recommended eight hours of sleep needed for good health, safety, and optimum performance. In fact, nearly one-third (31%) report sleeping less than seven hours each week night, though many adults say they try to sleep more on weekends (2001 Sleep in America poll).

Sleep apnea, a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep, affects as many as 18 million people, according to NIH. Estimates indicate that untreated sleep apnea may cause $3.4 billion in additional medical costs (SLEEP, 1992). Currently 95% of patients with sleep disorders remain undiagnosed.

Use this checklist to help determine your likelihood for having Sleep Apnea. You can print the results and show your physician at your next visit.