Sleep apnea causes problems sleeping
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder with symptoms such as one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur five to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep three or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.
This results in problems sleeping that make you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Most people who have sleep apnea don't know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member and/or bed partner may first notice the signs of sleep apnea.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses.
When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone.
It is important to learn about sleep disorders and symptoms if you suspect you or a family member have problems sleeping. Read more about causes, symptoms and treatments for sleep apnea. You can also learn more by going to www.americansleepassociation.com.