What you are describing sounds more like nocturnal panic attacks, although it could be sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for a time during your sleep. Waking up gasping at night is a tell tale sign, although sometimes it is hard to know yourself if you have apnea. If you are always tired during the day, even when you sleep eight or ten hours, and people say you snore a lot during the night, then you might want to get it checked out. However, you might want to talk to your doctor either way.