Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder where your breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. Signs to look out for include loud snoring, and if you are tired even after getting a full night’s sleep.
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea, where muscles in the back of the throat relax, blocking the airway
- Central sleep apnea, where your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome, a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea
If you suspect you have any of these forms of sleep apnea, you should see a doctor. Sleep apnea can cause serious problems such as increasing your risk for obesity, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and more.
In particular, consult a doctor if you notice – or your partner notices – that you are:
- snoring loudly enough to disturb the sleep of others or yourself
- waking up during the night gasping for air or choking
- pausing intermittently in your breathing during sleep
- excessively drowsy in the daytime