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Sleep apnea is a very serious sleep disorder affecting over 18 million American sleepers. It's a condition in which a person's breathing is continuously interrupted during sleep. Breathing can be interrupted for as few as 10 seconds to as many as 60 seconds or longer. In order to get breathing to resume, the brain has to awaken the individual each time breathing halts. The cycle of breathing disruption/brain awakening can repeat hundreds of times during the night. Sleep apnea deprives the body of sleep and also of oxygen. If left untreated it will get worse. High blood pressure can develop as can other types of cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea can become so severe that it could endanger your life. The most obvious symptom are a constant feeling of grogginess throughout the day. Many people with this disorder will frequently fall asleep during daytime hours. This makes sense since a person with sleep apnea does not ever fall into a deep sleep. There are other symptoms associated with sleep apnea. Those associated with sleeping including profusely sweating during sleep, gasping or choking, unusually loud snoring and waking suddenly and/or frequently to catch breath. When you are awake you may experience an inability to focus, concentrate and/or remember. Sleep apnea can also cause morning headaches and a sore throat or dry mouth upon awakening. Your attention span may be shorter and your judgment may not be as good. You may experience mood swings or depression. Impotence and weight gain are also symptoms. Those who go untreated can suffer other consequences including an increased risk of becoming involved in driving-related accidents and a reduced ability to carry out work-related functions. The word apnea is actually a Greek word and it means 'without breath'. In one type of sleep apnea, the muscles inside the windpipe located at the back of the throat soften and as they soften, they relax, causing a blockage inside this airway. Because these muscles support the tongue, tonsils or uvula, these body parts can also cause the blockage. The blockage prevents an adequate supply of air from entering. This most common form of sleep apnea is referred to as OSA or Obstructed Sleep Apnea. With Central Sleep Apnea, a far less common form, there is no blockage. Instead, for some reason the brain is not able to send the messages necessary to instruct the appropriate muscles to carry out the breathing function. Blocked airways and loss of brain control can also occur


simultaneously resulting in a form of sleep apnea called Mixed Apnea. Several factors are believed responsible for causing sleep apnea. Males aged 40 or older make up the largest risk group. Being overweight is an aggravating factor, as is smoking, alcohol and sedative use. An irregular sleep schedule, a family history, nasal congestion, snoring and problems with the tonsils, adenoids, tongue, chin, septum, vocal cords and more can all contribute to sleep apnea.

Steven N. Muller health, fitness and sleep expert and is currently involved with following websites: [http://www.loseweightandcleanse.com] and http://www.sleepmanagementconsultants.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Muller

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Why Everybody Is Talking About Sleep Apnea The Simple Truth Revealed  

This is a very informative article about sleep apnea.

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