Will Sleep Apnea Cause Insomnia: A Quick Guide


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterised by pauses in breathing during sleep. This can lead to disrupted sleep and fatigue during the day. People with sleep apnea usually do not remember these episodes but they can wake up feeling unrested and groggy. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterised by difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. It can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Insomnia? 

The question of whether or not sleep apnea can cause insomnia has been asked by many people. The answer is not clear-cut. While sleep apnea can lead to disrupted sleep and fatigue during the day, it is not necessarily the cause of insomnia. Many other factors can contribute to insomnia, such as stress, depression, and certain medications.

In some cases, sleep apnea may be a contributing factor to insomnia. It can disrupt the quality of sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, sleep apnea can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop, which can lead to insomnia.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Other symptoms may include:

• Waking up frequently during the night

• Gasping or choking during sleep

• Waking up feeling tired or unrefreshed

• Daytime fatigue

• Morning headaches

• Difficulty concentrating or memory problems

• Irritability

• Depression

• High blood pressure

• Increased risk of heart attack or stroke

What Are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

The most common symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early in the morning, and feeling tired or unrefreshed after a night’s sleep. Other symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, irritability, and depression.

How Insomnia and Sleep Apnea Are Related

Insomnia and sleep apnea are related in that they are both sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. It is characterised by snoring and pauses in breathing. Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Both disorders can cause fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, and have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Treatment for both disorders may include lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bed, or medical treatments, such as medications, an oral appliance  or a CPAP machine.

Why Getting Professional Medical Treatment Matters

Insomnia can have a significant negative impact on a person’s quality of life, leading to difficulty functioning during the day, impaired decision-making skills, and increased risk of accidents. If left untreated, insomnia can also lead to more serious health problems such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Therefore, getting professional medical treatment for insomnia is important to reduce the risk of developing these issues. Treatment options for insomnia can include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, and alternative therapies.


Sleep apnea will not directly cause insomnia, but it can be a contributing factor. A person who suffers from sleep apnea may have difficulty sleeping because of frequent arousals and lack of restful sleep. If a person is already suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea can make it worse. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you might have sleep apnea, in order to get the proper treatment and to avoid any additional sleep disturbances.

If you are looking for clinical sleep solutions, contact Lethbridge Snoring and Sleep Apnea Clinic. We provide sleep testing to help understand and assess underlying sleep conditions.

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