Feeling out of breath after running a few miles is normal. Being out of breath while you sleep is not. But millions of people with sleep apnea are literally out of breath every night, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If sleep apnea sounds Greek to you, that’s because it is — apnea is Greek for “without breath.” People with sleep apnea stop breathing in their sleep — sometimes up to 100 hundred times an hour — for one minute or longer.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and is caused by a blockage of the airway that occurs when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Late nights out will surely cause you to feel groggy in the morning. But if you go to bed early every night and still feel tired and disoriented the following day, you just might have sleep apnea.
Snoring is also a strong indication of sleep apnea. If anyone tells you that you have loud bouts of snoring followed by moments of silence, sleep apnea is probably to blame.
It’s easy to believe that disorders affect everyone but you. But the fact is sleep apnea affects over 12 million Americans.
Most people don’t know they have sleep apnea. But left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches and even impotency. Moreover, sleep apnea can affect your job performance and impair your driving.