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Sleep

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea means that your breathing often is blocked or partly blocked during sleep. The problem can be mild to severe, based on how often your lungs don't get enough air. This may happen from 5 to 30 or more times an hour.

There are 2 types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common type.
  • A less common type of apnea, called central sleep apnea, can occur in people who have had a stroke, have heart failure, are on certain medicines, or have a brain tumor or infection. Even though this topic isn't about central sleep apnea, some of the treatments discussed here may also help treat it. Talk with your doctor to find out more about central sleep apnea.

Symptoms include:

  • Not feeling rested after a night's sleep.
  • Feeling sleepy during the day.
  • Waking up with a headache.

Your bed partner may notice that while you sleep:

  • You stop breathing.
  • You often snore loudly.
  • You gasp or choke.
  • You toss and turn.

Children who have sleep apnea:

  • Nearly always snore.
  • May be hyperactive or have problems paying attention during the day.
  • May be restless during sleep and wake up often. They also may have problems with bed-wetting.

But children may not seem very sleepy during the day (a key symptom in adults). The only symptom of sleep apnea in some children may be that they do not grow as quickly as most children their age.