- Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related respiratory disorder that causes your normal breathing to diminish or stop. The respiratory obstruction of your pharynx may be complete (apnea) or partial (hypopnea) and can cause a reduction in your blood oxygen levels (hypoxia). Your brain reacts to this lack of oxygen by triggering micro-awakenings and lighter sleep to correct the respiratory flow.
These respiratory pauses last 10 seconds or more, and may even extend to 60 seconds or more, until your brain responds to the problem. Each time, your sleep is disrupted, even if you do not fully wake up and have no memory of waking up. But this cycle is repeated throughout the night and disrupts your normal sleep pattern, even if you are unaware of this. When you wake up, you do not feel rested.