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HealthInfo Canterbury

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnoea (known as OSA) is a common sleep problem where your airways narrow in the night. Symptoms of OSA include daytime tiredness, waking with a headache, many bathroom visits in the night and snoring. People with OSA tend to feel very sleepy during the day, and are more at risk of having a car accident.

While OSA can affect anybody, it's more common in middle-aged people, especially men, and people who are overweight and who snore.


If you often feel very sleepy during the day, especially if you have a job as a driver, or operating machinery or aircraft, make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible.

If you think you might have OSA, or if you (or your partner) are worried about the quality of your sleep, make an appointment with your GP.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Sleep Unit, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed August 2019.

In this section

Sleep assessment

Self-care for OSA

Treating OSA

CPAP therapy

Page reference: 46061

Review key: HIOSA-12505