Book Definition: A respiratory disorder in which the person intermittently stops breathing many times while sleeping.

In Your Own Words


  • When a person stops breathing while asleep. Their distress hormones kick in, they wake up, start breathing again, and fall back asleep.
  • The stoppage of breathing while sleeping.
  • The person usually doesn't remember having these episodes.
  • While sleeping, a person who stops breathing completely or is unable to take less than 25% of a normal breath for a period that lasts 10 seconds+.
  • You don't get into a deep sleep, you are stuck in a stage of poor quality resulting in tiredness the next day.
  • Each spacing of breaths can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times a night.


Examples/Functions


  • A result of sleep apnea could be excessive daytime sleepiness, for instance falling asleep while watching T.V. or in school.
  • Very intense snoring.
  • Common in overweight people.
  • It is likely to occur in premature infants.
  • Can be treated with a CPAP machine that continuously forces air into your airways.
  • It is very common among adults but rare among children.
  • It also has biological results, such as elevated blood pressure and dangerous levels of stress being placed on the blood vessels and heart.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/ (To watch an example of sleep apnea occuring use this website. It shows a visual and explains it clearly.)




Sleep Apnea Machine
Sleep Apnea Machine

(this is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine)

Additional Resources


  1. http://www.sleepapnea.org/
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/sleep_apnea/article.htm