If you’ve tried improving your sleep, but still snore or wake up feeling tired, you may have a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea? “Apnea” literally means “no breath” or “stopping breathing”. When you have an apnea, air stops flowing to your lungs for 10 seconds or longer – that is, you actually stop breathing. Sensing you have stopped breathing, a control centre in your brain triggers you to wake up just enough to start breathing again. Then you fall back to sleep and the cycle begins again.
This can happen more than 50 times every hour, even though you may not remember waking up. As you can imagine, constantly being triggered back into breathing-hour after hour, night after night, may put a strain on your body. Sleep apnea affects more than 3 in 10 men and nearly 1 in 5 women, so it’s more common than you might think.