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Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea – which occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome – also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Decreased concentration
  • Forgetfulness, anxiety
  • Morning headaches
  • Decreased sexual interest
  • High blood pressure
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Weight gain


Diagnosing sleep apnea often involves overnight monitoring. Tests to detect sleep apnea include:

  • Nocturnal polysomnography
  • Home sleep tests