Sleep Apnea is a common nighttime breathing disorder that affects more than 15 million Americans. Sleep apnea affects men and women of all ages; even children can suffer from sleep apnea. Without treatment, living with the disorder may cause significant complications including daytime sleepiness, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, mood disorders and poor daytime function. Most people who have sleep apnea do not realize that they have the condition; even though their sleep is frequently interrupted throughout the night. People suffering from sleep apnea will wake often through out the night due to their oxygen being restricted or completely cut off. When apnea sufferers awaken, normal breathing is restored; however, they do not enter a state of complete wakefulness. The apneic events can continue unnoticed because sufferers do not fully awake or recognize they are waking though out the night. With sleep apnea, breathing may temporarily stop or become shallow hundreds of times during a night’s sleep. Sleep Apnea

A frequently reported symptom related to sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness, some times being so extreme people have reported drifting off at work or while driving. Other common complaints include lack of concentration and poor mental agility that can lead to poor performance at work and an unfulfilling life. In Greek, “apnea” means “with out breath”. There are two types of Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is the most common, and Central Sleep Apnea.

The cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the air passage at the back of the throat becomes blocked. When muscles in the throat relax, this causes the soft palate to relax as well, which then narrows the airway. This same course of events also causes snoring, although, not all people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea. As one breathes in through the mouth or nose, the airway narrows further or completely closes and cuts breath short. The airflow restriction causes a gasping sensation, which prompts a period of shallow wakefulness. While partially awake, normal breathing is restored. This persistent blockage of the airway can happen several times an hour, replaying the course of events through out the night, causing a fragmented night of sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea occurs when your brain fails to send impulses to the body to breath. Central Sleep Apnea takes its name from the Central Nervous System, which regulates the body’s necessary functions. This instability in the brain’s respiratory control center can have several causes, the most common being central nervous system dysfunctions or individuals who hav