Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday Open for MRI
Sunday Closed
Migraine treatment same day as your first appointment.
Visit our Healow Portal
Visit our Healow Portal Call 214-619-1910
CALL 214-619-1910

Insomnia vs. Sleep Apnea: Understanding the Differences

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Book appointment
Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Sleep ailments are prevalent among people worldwide. They impact both physical health and mental well-being. Sleeplessness and apneic episodes are two common ailments. They affect millions of people. Yet, they differ significantly in their causes, signs, and curing. Understanding these differences is crucial for effective management and improving life.

In this “Insomnia vs sleep apnea” article, we delve into the distinctions between these two issues. We will explore potential curing and address common questions surrounding these issues.

Stay with us. Read the article to the end. And get all the valuable information for your healthy life.


Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Insomnia

Difference Between Sleep Apnea & Insomnia

These ailments can significantly impact one’s overall health and well-being. Yet, they often present themselves differently. Two common ailments have distinct characteristics and require different approaches for management. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between the two.


Sleep Apnea Insomnia
Definition It’s characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during a nap. These interruptions can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur multiple times in an hour. It refers to difficulty falling/staying asleep or experiencing non-restorative naps. It’s despite adequate opportunity for sleep. People often report feeling unrested even after a full night’s rest.
Signs Signs include loud snoring, gasping or choking sensations during rest, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Signs are difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early and being unable to rest again, daytime fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
The difference in causes between sleep apnea and insomnia  The two main types are central and obstructive sleep apnea. The first is caused by the relaxation of throat muscles blocking the airway. Another appears due to no proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Insomnia can be caused by various factors. It includes stress, anxiety, depression, poor rest habits, certain medications, and medical conditions. They’re chronic pain or respiratory problems.
Risk Factors They include obesity, older age, male gender, and family history of apneic episodes. It also includes smoking, nasal congestion, and anatomical abnormalities in the upper airway. Risk factors include stress, anxiety, depression, and irregular rest schedules. It also includes certain medical conditions, caffeine or alcohol consumption, and certain medications.
The difference in diagnosis between sleep apnea and insomnia  It often involves a sleep study (polysomnography) conducted in a clinic. It’s to monitor breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and other physiological parameters during sleep. It’s typically based on a thorough medical history, sleep diary, and sometimes extra tests. It’s to rule out underlying medical conditions contributing to disturbances.
Treatment It involves lifestyle changes, the use of a CPAP machine, oral appliances, or surgery. Options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-I), rest hygiene practices, relaxation techniques, and, in some cases, medications to aid rest.


Understanding the distinctions is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management. It’s ultimately leading to improved rest quality and overall health. If experiencing signs of either ailment, seek guidance from a doctor. It’s recommended for proper evaluation and curing.


Sleep Apnea and Insomnia Treatment

Effective curing tactics aim to address the underlying causes and improve rest quality. And this is without the use of specific medications. Here are seven treatment approaches commonly recommended by professionals.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy

CPAP therapy is the primary curing for obstructive apneic episodes. It involves the use of a machine that delivers a constant flow of air through a mask. It’s worn over the nose or mouth during rest. This pressurized air keeps the airway open. It prevents breathing interruptions and promotes uninterrupted rest.

Lifestyle Modifications

Changes can benefit insomnia and sleep apnea sufferers by promoting better nap hygiene. Maintain a regular rest schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol before rest. And create a comfortable environment.

Weight Management

Obesity is a significant risk factor. Excess weight can contribute to airway obstruction. Losing weight through a mix of diet and exercise can help reduce the severity of signs. And it improves overall health.

Positional Therapy

For people with positional breathing problems, wherein difficulties occur predominantly in certain positions, positional therapy techniques such as wearing special devices or using positional alarms can encourage sleeping in positions that minimize airway obstruction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT identifies and changes negative thought patterns and behaviors that lead to disturbances. Relaxation training, sleep restriction, and stimulus control help people develop healthy rest habits. And they can overcome sleep apnea and insomnia.

Oral Appliances

Dental devices designed to reposition the jaw and tongue can be effective. They treat mild to moderate obstructive apneic episodes. It’s done by preventing airway collapse during rest. These appliances are custom-made to fit the individual’s mouth. And they’re worn during rest.

Surgical Interventions

In severe cases, surgical procedures such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), tonsillectomy, or maxillomandibular advancement may be considered to remove obstructions or enlarge the airway.


Can You Have Insomnia and Sleep Apnea?

They’re distinct ailments with different underlying causes. However, it is possible for a person to experience both issues concurrently. This overlap is known as comorbid sleeplessness and apneic episodes. 

It can exacerbate rest disturbances and worsen overall health outcomes if left untreated. Managing the ailments may need a comprehensive approach. It addresses both ailments simultaneously. It’s through a combination of behavioral therapies, CPAP therapy, and other targeted interventions.


Can Sleep Apnea Cause Insomnia?

Does Sleep Apnea Cause Insomnia

The relationship between the ailments is complex. Breathing problems potentially contribute to sleeplessness signs through various mechanisms. Repeated interruptions in breathing can lead to fragmented rest and frequent awakenings. It disrupts the continuity of rest architecture and causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue. These disruptions may trigger or exacerbate sleeplessness signs. They’re difficulty falling or staying asleep. It’s due to heightened arousal and hyperarousal responses to rest disturbances.

Sleep apnea and insomnia are also connected physiologically and psychologically. The effects of apneic episodes can disrupt rest patterns. And they contribute to sleeplessness development or exacerbation. Those effects are oxygen desaturation, increased sympathetic activity, and mood disturbances. 

Treatment of sleep apnea helps reduce disruptions and prevents insomnia. It improves overall rest quality.


Lone Star Neurology: Sleep Disorder Center

Do you struggle with falling/staying asleep or feeling tired even after a full night’s rest? You’re not alone. Millions of people experience rest ailments.

Lone Star Neurology’s Sleep Disorder Center is here to help. Our team of experienced neurologists and medicine specialists understands the challenges you face. And we’re dedicated to providing care for a wide range of ailments.

What we offer:

  • Expert evaluation and diagnosis. We use state-of-the-art technologies like rest studies. It’s to pinpoint the exact cause of your problems.
  • Personalized treatment plans. We tailor a sleep apnea and insomnia treatment plan that’s right for you. We consider your unique needs and preferences. This may include lifestyle changes, medication, or other therapies.
  • Compassionate care. We understand that ailments can be frustrating and isolating. Our team is here to support you every step of the way.

We’re committed to helping you achieve healthy rest patterns and reduce signs. Don’t suffer from sleep deprivation any longer. Contact Lone Star Neurology today. And start your journey towards a restful night’s rest and a healthier, happier you. Call us or visit our website to schedule an appointment.



  • Can lifestyle changes help in managing both insomnia and sleep apnea?

Yes, a regular schedule, avoiding stimulants, and a conducive sleep environment can help. Weight loss, positional therapy, and avoiding alcohol and smoking can specifically aid.

  • How do I know if I have sleep apnea or insomnia?

Pay attention to your symptoms. Loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, and daytime sleepiness could indicate sleep apnea. While difficulty falling or staying asleep is more characteristic of insomnia. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.

  • Should I see a specialist for sleep disorders?

Yes, consulting a specialist for sleep disorders, such as a sleep medicine physician or a sleep specialist, is recommended. They can conduct comprehensive assessments, including sleep studies, if needed. And they provide tailored treatment plans for improved sleep quality.

  • How is insomnia typically treated?

Insomnia is commonly treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). It addresses negative thought patterns and behaviors related to sleep. Sleep hygiene practices, relaxation techniques, and medication may also be prescribed. It’s to alleviate symptoms and improve sleep quality.

  • Can stress management techniques help with sleep disorders?

Yes, meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can be beneficial. They promote relaxation and reduce arousal levels before bedtime.

  • Is maintaining a healthy diet important for managing sleep disorders?

Absolutely, a balanced diet rich in nutrients supports overall health, including sleep. Certain foods, like those high in caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime, can exacerbate sleep problems. So, mindful eating habits can contribute to better sleep quality.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Be the first to write a review
Lone Star Neurology
Based on 905 reviews
powered by Google
Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
More reviews

Please, leave your review


Write a comment:

Book appointment