What Is Sleep Apnea?
When you have this condition, your breath can become very shallow or you may even stop breathing -- briefly -- while you sleep. It can happen many times a night in some people.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when something partly or completely blocks your upper airway during shut-eye. That makes your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs. Breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. You may not sleep well, but you probably won't be aware that this is happening.