The pause in breathing may take 10 seconds, or more.
There are cases where breathing stops for more than 60 seconds during sleep, as you will see in one of the following videos.
People with sleep apnea complain about:
excessive sleepiness during the
falling asleep while driving,
Types of Sleep Breathing Disorders
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
(OSA) - this is the most common sleep related breathing disorder. The
tongue or other soft tissue from the back of the throat relaxes during
sleep blocking the airway.
Central Sleep Apnea
(CSA) - the breathing stops without having any obstruction in the
airways. The brain "forgets" to tell the breathing muscle to move, thus
the person stops breathing for several seconds until he or she wakes up
and starts breathing again.
Many people with mild sleep apnea often have only a shallow breathing, called hypopnea.
They should not ignore this symptom because it will worsen over time,
with serious effects on their health and quality of life.
ultimatum proof. This can be scary to watch, but the description from
this video will help you understand what is sleep apnea & how to
How to Recognize the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
1. During the Night:
Normal Breathing in Sleep vs Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The muscles from the throat relax,
The airway narrows slightly,
Breathing is kept normal during sleep,
Breathing is slow and quiet,
The person wakes up refreshed, with energy and good mood.
The muscles relax more than normal,
The airway narrows too much, causing snoring.
The airway collapses, causing obstruction.
Breathing is disturbed by loud snoring, snorting and gasping for air,
The person feels tired, wants to stay in bed, has morning headaches.
Snoring occurs when the airway is slightly narrowed. In other words, when you snore the airway is now smaller but still open.
The most common risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are:
obesity - More than 60% of sleep apnea patients are overweight, so it should ring a bell to anyone who has body fat.
However, it is not the excess of the weight that triggers sleep apnea, but the neck size that counts. Here are the facts:
men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or larger,women with a neck circumference of 16 inches or larger,people with double chins,people with a lot of fat at the waist,are more likely to have their airway collapse while they sleep.
age and gender - sleep apnea is often encountered in middle age and older adults, and more likely to strike men than women.
genetic link - relatives of those affected with sleep apnea tend to be more likely to have apnea and shallow breathing.
alcohol consumption - alcohol relaxes the muscles from
the back of the throat leading to increasing risk for partial or
complete obstruction of the airway.
smoking - increases the risk for moderate to severe OSA,
although the exact mechanism is not well understood. Scientists
discovered that nicotine causes inflammation in the throat and reduces
the upper airway muscle tone.
It's in your best interest to speak with your doctor about your symptoms. And let me explain you why:
it's difficult to diagnose sleep apnea just looking at someone. That's why your doctor may suggest that you spend a night in a sleep laboratory for a sleep study.
the lab staff will use a polysomnogram, to test your sleep quality.
the sleep technician will also measure the amount of oxygen your blood is carrying through your body, which shows how much oxygen you inhale during sleep.
The less oxygen in the blood, the more severe sleep apnea is likely to be.
once you know that you have sleep apnea and doctors have determined
its severity, your doctor can decide the most appropriate treatment.