Sleep apnea

Also Known As: Sleep apnea, Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English; /æpˈnə/) is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing duringsleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to several minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.[1] Similarly, each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is classified as a dyssomnia, meaning abnormal behavior or psychological events occur during sleep.[2] When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide is building up the bloodstream. Chemoreceptors in the blood stream note the high carbon dioxide levels. The brain is signaled to wake the person sleeping and breathe in air. Breathing normally will restore oxygen levels and the person will fall asleep again.[3] Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or "sleep study".

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