The differences between sleep apnea and insomnia

a man with insomnia

Many people think that sleep apnea and insomnia are pretty much the same thing, however they are actually very different from each other and today we’re going to look at how this is.

With sleep apnea, a person experiences episodes where they stop breathing temporarily during a deep sleep. Left untreated, this can lead to many other serious health consequences such as heart problems or daytime fatigue.

On the other hand, insomnia is where someone has a very difficult time falling and staying asleep. Often times it is something short term that is brought on by stress factors from the outside world, but if it is consistent and lasts for more than a month, then this is where chronic insomnia may develop and medical treatment may be required.

What these two sleep disorders have in common is the fact that your sleep cycle is interrupted and you are not getting a proper sleep at night. Medical research shows that sleep apnea and insomnia may be very different from each other, however in recent years, it has been discovered that the two are actually very closely correlated to each other.

Many patients with chronic insomnia tend to develop sleep apnea, thus having many sleep specialists speculate to believe that insomnia may actually CAUSE sleep apnea. A study done in 2012 showed how strong the correlation between the two is, as many of the insomnia patients involved were actually displaying symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

If you thought that was enough, what about those who develop insomnia when they already are diagnosed with, or receiving treatment for OSA? This turns out to happen quite often, a lot of it due to stress and anxiety of using a CPAP machine and also the time it takes to get used to the air pressure flow and the idea of sleeping with a mask over your face each night. Many new CPAP patients find themselves tossing and turning at night over this and many sleep specialists report that chronic insomnia is actually quite common among their sleep apnea patients. Some common symptoms include frequent nighttime urination, dry mouth, morning headaches or daytime sleepiness.

Whether you are being treated for sleep apnea or dealing with ongoing insomnia, the number one goal to work towards is getting a good sleep night after night. To help with this, it is important that you report your symptoms to your doctor so they can find the best treatment for you.

Download the FREE Beginners Guide to Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.