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Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts [1]. It is a common condition in which your breathing stops and restarts many times while you sleep [2]. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and restless nights of interrupted sleep [9]. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex (a combination of the two) [4]. Common causes include obesity, large tonsils or adenoids, smoking or alcohol use before bedtime, nasal congestion due to allergies or sinus problems[3], age-related changes in the throat muscles[5], family history of the disorder[6], gender (men are more likely than women to have it)[7] and certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke[8]. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as weight loss; avoiding alcohol before bedtime; using a CPAP machine; surgery; dental devices that help keep airways open during sleep; positional therapy (sleeping on one's side); mouthpieces that move the lower jaw forward during sleeping hours.

[1]: Sleep apnea - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic (
[2]: Sleep Apnea - What Is Sleep Apnea? | NHLBI, NIH (
[3]: Sleep Apnea: Symptoms and Causes | Sleep Foundation (
[4]: Sleep Apnea: Types, Common Causes, Risk Factors, Effects on Health (
[5]: Sleep Apnea: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment (
[6]: Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Risks and Treatments - (
[7]: Sleep Apnea | MedlinePlus (
[8]: The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea | Johns Hopkins Medicine (
[9]: Sleep apnea: Symptoms, treatments, and causes (


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It can cause loud snoring, daytime fatigue, and other health problems. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or avoiding alcohol before bedtime; using a CPAP machine to keep the airway open while sleeping; or surgery to remove excess tissue from the throat that may be blocking the airway.