Waking Up Frequently at Night
Waking up frequently at night is part of the definition of sleep apnea. However, with sleep apnea, you might not realize that you’re doing it. Some people with severe sleep apnea might wake up 300 times a night but might never reach full wakefulness, so they don’t know they’re waking up.
When people do wake up, they might blame it on other causes, such as:
If you wake up choking, it’s probably because you were having an apneic attack and should talk to your doctor.
The relationship between nightmares and sleep apnea is less clear. Many people wake up from an apneic attack sweating and gasping with a pounding heart. It feels like waking up from a nightmare, although it’s closer to waking up from night terrors, according to the clinical definition. It’s not clear whether people with sleep apnea actually experience more nightmares.
Waking up frequently to urinate (nocturia) is strongly linked to sleep apnea. One theory is that an apneic attack puts pressure on the heart that the body interprets as having too much fluid, so it increases your need to urinate.