What Is Sleep Apnea?


Sleep Apnea is a very common sleep disorder where a person breathing continuously stops and starts during the night. This occurs because the trachea is repeatedly blocked and thus only small amounts of air are able to reach the lungs.

This disorder occurs as a result of a signal problem in the brain. Signal problems cause central sleep apnea while obstructive apnea occurs due to an involuntary pause in breathing. A person will respond to this by breathing harshly while still asleep. The brain and the body will have poor oxygen and this can cause a person to wake up with a sensation of choking.

Causes of Sleep Apnea: Muscular Changes

Sleep Apnea can happen due to muscular changes. Trachea muscles exhibit contraction and relaxation movements during breathing. When a person is sleeping, there is a relaxation of the muscles along with the tongue making the air passage too narrow. If you sleep on your back, the tongue will fall back into the mouth by the force of gravity.

The airway is thus narrowed and the amount of air being transported to the lungs is reduced. This will cause you to choke because of the vibration of the tissues at the back of the windpipe during breathing.

Physical Obstructions

Collapsing of the windpipe can also be caused by physical obstructions. This is associated with excessive accumulation of fats around the airway, making it narrower. This demonstrates that people with large amounts of fats around the neck region are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea disorder. Other people who have the tendency of leaning their head forward for rest may be creating a way for this disorder to develop. the airway becomes narrow and air flow is restricted. When this occurs the air flows through the airway with pressure and snoring will be displayed.

Signal Problem

Sleep Apnea will occur when there is a signal problem in the brain. The brain is the most complex organ of the body and performs convoluted functions, one of which is to control a person’s breathing. There is a signal exchange between the brain and the spinal cord which are the respiratory organs. When the upper cervical spine is not well aligned, pressure is exerted on the nerves and this interferes with signal movement, thus resulting in a temporal pause in breathing. If not well taken care of, this condition can result in heart disease in later life.


The way a person chooses to conduct their life has a tremendous effect on their immediate and later health. People who exhibit an unhealthy lifestyle are more prone to sleep apnea. These unhealthy life habits include smoking and alcohol consumption. Smoking is a threat to the circulatory and respiratory systems. There is nicotine in cigarettes which intercepts regular sleep patterns. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles and obstructs breathing.  

Signs Associated With Sleep Apnea

You may find yourself waking up in the morning feeling exhausted even though you had enough sleep at night.

Feeling weary during the day and you find it difficult to concentrate on your work and at some point, you even fall asleep. This is due to having a poor sleep at night where your body wakes up several times without you even noticing.

Sleep apnea has a direct relationship with insomnia. When you wake up at night, you may find it hard to fall asleep again.

You may be experiencing headaches in the morning. This is because of lack of quality sleep during the night.

If you feel so weakened during the day or notice some of the signs discussed, you should visit a doctor to diagnose the cause and give you possible mitigation.