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You may fall asleep easily. But you never seem to get a good night’s rest. You may have sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that disrupts your sleep.

Those at greatest risk are men, overweight people, and people over 40. Risks include hypertension, stroke, or heart failure.

Sufferers stop breathing sometimes hundreds of times during sleep, which can restrict oxygen to your brain.

The two types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep, causing an airway blockage during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea happens when your brain fails to tell your muscles to breathe. While your airway isn’t blocked, your respiratory control center is unstable.

Sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Sore or dry throat after waking
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping when you wake up
  • Sleepiness or low energy during the day
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Restless sleep
  • Awaking frequently during the night or insomnia

You can take a sleep apnea test to diagnose if you have this disorder. The test can be done at a clinic or at your home.

Treatment may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol or sleeping pills, changing sleep positions, or stopping smoking. Doctors may prescribe the use of CPAP therapy or surgery.

Other treatments may be available. Consult your doctor for more information.

Tips adapted from WebMD

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