Excessive daytime sleepiness is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
But a new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that many people with sleep apnea have other complaints: fatigue, tiredness or a lack of energy. The study also shows that treating sleep apnea with CPAP therapy can help reduce all of these symptoms.
The study involved 313 people with sleep apnea. They had an average age of 55 years.
Before treatment more than half of participants complained of a lack of energy or tiredness. About 46 percent complained of fatigue; a little less than 40 percent complained of sleepiness. Women were more likely than men to report having a lack of energy.
Results show that these daytime symptoms improved in participants who reported using CPAP for five or more hours per night. The change was statistically significant for every complaint except lack of energy.
“We found that sleep apnea patients who used their CPAP regularly…had much greater success in reducing their fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness,” study author Dr. Ronald Chervin told the AASM. “This suggests that sleep apnea may be the cause of these symptoms, as it is a cause of sleepiness.”
Learn more about the warning signs for obstructive sleep apnea. Answer these questions on SleepEducation.com to learn more about your risk for sleep apnea.
Get help for sleep apnea at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.