If you lie awake for hours, unable to sleep, find yourself waking up repeatedly throughout the night or just feel constantly run down and exhausted, you could be a victim of insomnia. Nearly 40% of Americans report some symptoms of insomnia in a given year.
When it comes to insomnia, it can often be hard to tell whether it's your body that's keeping your mind awake or vice versa. One significant cause of poor sleep quality is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious medical condition in which airways collapse during sleep, interrupting breathing and waking people up. But not everyone with OSA realizes they aren't sleeping well; they may simply notice that they feel exhausted most of the time.
OSA can be officially diagnosed during a sleep study called polysomnography, but you can also check these two easy at-home tests to see if you could be at risk.
Test 1: The Choke Test
Women with a neck circumference over 16.5 may be at increased risk of sleep apnea. Using your index fingers and thumbs, try wrapping your hands around your neck (as if you are choking yourself – but don't squeeze!). If your fingers can't touch, you could be at risk.
Test 2: The Snore Test
To do the snore test, tilt your head back, relax the muscles in your throat and breathe in through your mouth. If you make a noise while you're breathing, you could be at increased risk.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. You can learn more about this potentially dangerous sleep condition here.