default

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.

Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.

Waking up with a very sore or dry throat

  • Loud snoring
  • Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
  • Recurrent awakenings or insomnia

Sleep apnea test, called a polysomnogram. This may be done in a sleep disorder center or even at home.

A polysomnogram — or sleep study — is a multiple-component test that electronically transmits and records specific physical activities while you sleep. The recordings are analyzed by a qualified sleep specialist to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder.