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Excessive Sleepiness associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The National Sleep Foundation

Medically Reviewed by

The National Sleep Foundation

Written by

The National Sleep Foundation

Chronic snoring is a strong indicator of sleep apnea and should be evaluated by a health professional. Since people with sleep apnea tend to be sleep deprived, they may suffer from sleeplessness and a wide range of other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving. Left untreated, symptoms of sleep apnea can include disturbed sleep, excessive sleepiness during the day, high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke or depression.

OSAS can cause Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) and negatively affects daytime functioning, resulting in increased irritability, decreased cognitive function, mood and memory problems, and reduced quality of life.

OSA is also associated with higher rates of:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction,3 and congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes and metabolic syndrome5
  • Strokes6
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Car crashes
  • OSAS in children may be associated with poor growth, a failure to thrive, developmental delays, and cognitive/behavioral complications.