According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don’t trigger a full awakening.
Sleep Apnea, if left untreated, can lead to life threatening illnesses that include, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name a few. Sleep apnea can also result in life threatening tendencies such as falling asleep at the wheel of a car. Knowing your sleep status could save not only your life but the lies of the people around you.