May 24 2011

What is sleep apnea?

Category: Health & Beauty


Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by breathing disruptions, stops, or pauses over the course of the night. These disruptions, that can last seconds to minutes, are typically caused by a lack of airflow or oxygen to your lungs. If oxygen levels drop to dangerous levels, your brain will deliver a message to wake you up which can result in a lower sleep quality. Frequent disruptions in sleep quality will often accompany a release of stress hormones that will raise your heart rate and elevate your risk for developing high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and irregular heartbeats. There are three different types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed but doctors can detect the condition with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram. For more information on sleep apnea, please visit or The US Dept of Health and Human Services.

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