Knowing the Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Insomnia

Have you found it difficult to sleep in recent times? Do you awake in the morning feeling tired and fatigued? Have you become more irritable lately for no apparent reason? These are some of the warning signs that your sleep needs to be examined in greater detail. Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two of the most common reasons why you are unable to obtain a sound night of rest. Still, how can you determine the differences between these two conditions? Let us take a closer look at some of the unique characteristics of each so that you can thereafter seek out the proper treatment.


Insomnia can be caused by a variety of reasons. These are often broken down into three categories:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Environmental

Some physical reasons could include an illness that prevents you from breathing correctly or pain associated with a chronic condition such as arthritis. The good news is that it is often possible to obtain a natural treatment (such as CBD oil) in order to alleviate any discomfort that you may be feeling.

Emotional causes include (but are not limited to) stress, nervousness, depression, and anxiety. Such feelings will inevitably impact your ability to fall and remain asleep during the overnight hours.

Environmental factors can also play a surprising role. Examples include a poor mattress, low-quality air, an excessive amount of light, and noise pollution due to a nearby motorway. While some variables may be out of your control, others such as ensuring that all electronic devices are turned off during the overnight hours can have a positive impact.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The main takeaway point in regards to obstructive sleep apnea is that this is a medical condition. OSA is triggered by a narrowing of your airways when you fall asleep. Thus, your body is not able to obtain the proper levels of oxygen. Those who suspect that OSA is present should look out for these symptoms:

  • Excessively loud snoring that may be noticed by a partner.
  • Waking up feeling short of breath.
  • Awaking due to coughing or choking.

While the causes of obstructive sleep apnea are not entirely understood, risk factors including obesity and diabetes are thought to play an important role. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for OSA. You will instead need to focus upon alleviating the associated symptoms. Many individuals will benefit from the regular use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This apparatus will provide your lungs with an adequate level of oxygen, so the chances of waking up are dramatically reduced.

So, we can see that there are some fundamental differences between insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. It is nonetheless important to consult with a sleep specialist if you suspect that either may be present. If you are able to adopt a proactive approach, the chances are high that both of these conditions can be effectively treated; providing you with a peaceful night of rest.