Get it. Loud snoring, choking or gasping for air in your sleep, and suffering from morning headaches or daytime sleepiness are symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea - a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that affects up to one in four men and one in 10 women (including many who are overweight). Besides affecting your quality of sleep, apnea can trigger the release of stress hormones that elevate heart rate and raise your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Problem is, fewer than 15 percent of apnea sufferers know they have the disorder. If you fail to mention your symptoms to your doctors, they may not ask about it during your routine exams. An overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram can determine if you have it, and allow you to start treatment.