45 Minutes - An experience with Sleep Apnea

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What happens if you stop breathing in your sleep? Why does it occur?

Understanding, Preventing and Treating Sleep Apnea | Clinilabs Drug Development Corporation

Learn about some of the potential causes, including sleep apnea , and what short- and long-term consequences may occur. Breathing disturbances can commonly be observed during sleep. The most frequently noted is snoring. When the tissues of the upper airway vibrate during breathing, this causes the sound of snoring.

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It is also possible for breathing to completely stop, but what causes this? These events by definition last at least 10 seconds but they can last up to several minutes. Most often, this is due to obstructive sleep apnea OSA. OSA occurs when the tissues of the upper airway — the tongue, soft palate, and uvula — collapse and disturb normal airflow. There may still be an effort to breathe, with the chest and abdomen moving, but the air is not normally moving past the obstruction within the throat.

As a result, airflow is reduced or is simply not observed to be moving through the nose or mouth during these periods. There are other potential causes of disturbed breathing in sleep to consider. Less commonly, the breathing pattern may be abnormal due to a failure of the brainstem to stimulate breathing. This occurs in central sleep apnea , Cheyne-Stokes respiration, and congenital central hypoventilation syndrome.

The first two conditions may be present in heart failure, with narcotic use, or near death. The latter disorder is rarely present in some children at birth.

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This occurs with a burst of cortisol hormone. This stress response spikes the heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to other problems over the long term. The person experiencing it may wake up gasping or choking and an observer may witness a loud snort and movement of the body. The severity of sleep apnea varies. It is thought to be normal for pauses in breathing to occur up to 5 times per hour in adults and once per hour in children. These events may even occur as part of normal sleep stage transitions. If breathing disruptions occur more frequently, sleep apnea may be diagnosed with a sleep study.

Severe sleep apnea: Understanding severe apnea risks

The following categories are used to classify sleep apnea based on the apnea-hypopnea index AHI :. It is also important to recognize the degree of oxygen deprivation that occurs with these events. In the setting of heart or lung disease, the oxygen levels may drop drastically with each apnea event. As a result, there can be greater stress placed on the body overnight. Chronic oxygen deprivation may lead to both short-term and long-term effects.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

It is extremely unlikely that a single witnessed pause in breathing would be the last breath the person takes. Instead, the event is likely to end as described above.

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When apnea occurs chronically, it can lead to other health problems , but can it lead to sudden death? Sleep apnea increases the risk of sudden death in sleep. It can also lead to atrial fibrillation, heart attack myocardial infarction , and even stroke. Although usually short, sleep terrors can last up to 45 minutes. Nightmares and sleep terrors are more common in children than adults.

In children, they are rarely caused by a physical or mental illness. Both nightmares and sleep terrors are more common in people with other sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

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Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a disorder in which a person partially wakes up during the night and walks around without realizing it. The sleepwalker might make repetitive movements, such as fumbling with clothing, get out of bed and stroll around, or even talk to you. Sleepwalking is usually not a cause for concern.

Most children will outgrow sleepwalking by their teenage years. Lakeland Locations. Health Library. Rights and Privacy. Lakeland News. Southwest Michigan. About Lakeland. Get Fit in the Mitt. Community Resources. Menu About Us. Our Services.

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