Sleep apnea is a common problem, affecting as many as 53 percent of men and 26 percent of women. Apnea is a Greek word that means “breathe.” Sleep apnea is the inability to breathe properly, or the limitation of breath or breathing, during sleep, which can have serious health consequences.
Central apnea refers to an inability to properly pull air in, whereas obstructive apnea refers to a frequent collapse of the airway during sleep, hindering breathing for periods that can last for several seconds. Mixed apnea is a combination of both.
Snoring is a related problem, caused by a restriction in your airway stemming from either your throat or nasal passageway. It’s the vibrations as the air struggles to get through your soft palate, uvula, tongue, tonsils, and/or muscles in the back of your throat that causes the snore.
Not only do these breathing disruptions interfere with sleep, leaving you unusually tired the next day, it also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which can impair the function of internal organs and/or exacerbate other health conditions you may have.
This includes cognitive decline and dementia, as evidenced in a new study. (continue reading)