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a sleep disorder is defined as a medical disorder that disrupts sleep patterns. Some sleep disorders are so severe they can interfere with daily activities and how one functions emotionally, physically, and mentally.


When a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, it is called sleep apnea. For some with severe sleep apnea, they might stop breathing several times as they sleep. The two types of sleep apnea include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – this type of sleep apnea is normally caused when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses resulting in the airway being blocked. Symptoms include snoring, fatigue, and gasping for air while sleeping

  • Central sleep apnea – this type of sleep apnea is related to the central nervous system and is caused by the brain failing to signal the muscles to breathe. Symptoms include experiencing recurrent awakening at night. Gasping for air is a less common symptom.

    Those most commonly at risk for sleep apnea include men, being overweight, having large tonsils, having a family history of sleep apnea, and men who have a neck size greater than 17 inches and women who have a neck size greater than 16 inches. Many people who have either type of sleep apnea can greatly benefit from using a CPAP machine while sleeping.

Making your appointment at the Sleep Lab at Sinai Medical Center is the first step to overcoming a sleep disorder. Call to schedule your appointment today.


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