What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder where breathing patterns repeatedly stop (often for a minute or longer) and start during sleep. This can sometimes occur hundreds of times a night. OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, is when you stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because your airway collapses. Airway blockage may be due to: a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open when asleep.
People who suffer from sleep apnea often complain of being very sleepy during the day, may experience morning headaches, memory problems, feelings of depression, mood swings, frequent urination and gastric reflux.
Blood oxygen levels also decrease as a result of obstructed breathing, which can severely affect the heart and other major bodily functions. When these pauses in breathing happen more than five times per hour, healthy sleep is interrupted and it puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions.