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I'm A Teenager Who Doesn't Snore: Could I Have Sleep Apena?

by Sage

I'm 13 and I have trouble falling asleep, however no matter how much sleep I do get at night I'm always tired during the day. A lot of times I'll have dreams where I'm under water holding my breath, but I'm really not breathing. Other times I'll just wake up gasping or choking. Also when I wake in the mornings a lot of the time my throat will feel sore/dry.

Sometimes I do get moody & have personality changes and I am a mouth breather. I have difficulty concentrating and I am forgetful throughout the day. Also during mornings & nights I get headaches & chest pains, and I toss & turn all night.

I have heard these are all symptoms of Sleep Apnea, but I do not snore.. Not loud at least.. Could I still have it?

Kevin: Hi Sage, Thanks for writing in. It is wonderful that you are so conscious and proactive about your health at such a young age.

It is possible to have sleep apnea without snoring. Someone I know, a former teaching assistant of the Sleep and Dreams class here at Stanford, ended up getting diagnosed with sleep apnea despite not snoring. She is also female and very skinny, so rather opposite of the typical sleep apnea patient (male and overweight). It goes to show that you don't have to fit the mold to still be affected by this.

The symptoms and experiences you describe sound like they could be related to sleep apnea. I would definitely get it checked out by a doctor and try to request a test. It will certainly be worth it if it can turn things around and help you be more alert and productive during the day.

Good luck!

(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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