Sleep apnoea is a most dangerous disorder where an individual stops breathing while sleeping. Such kind of  people awaken often during the night to take a breath of air. This can happen 200 times in a night. Snoring is the also the chief indication that a person has apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is mostly found in overweight, middle-aged men. It may be more severe if experienced at a younger age. However, women can also suffer from apnoea and it is also experienced by children.

Obstructive apnoea

If a person has obstructive apnoea, the person cannot get air in. The airway from the nose to the windpipe narrows or closes. People with obstructive apnoea are less likely to remember waking than are those with central apnoea.

Central apnoea

If a person has central apnoea, the brain has failed to send messages that breathing is needed. The diaphragm and intercostal muscles stop working, so the person stops breathing. They wake to take a breath. People may remember such incidents. This condition is less common than obstructive apnoea.


A person with sleep apnoea may not realise they have the condition -- unaware of their frequent awakenings and snoring. Indicators to look out for are complaints about snoring, waking during the night and feeling tired the next day for no apparent reason.

Possible causes

One major cause of obstructive sleep apnoea is obesity. Research is suggesting that asthma in women increases their risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea.

Potential problems

The person rarely gets a good night’s sleep due to the frequency of awakening which means they tend to not enter the deeper stages of sleep. There are a number of consequences of sleep deprivation that can affect daily functioning if it goes on for some time.

Sleep apnoea can cause heart problems. Many people with sleep apnoea suffer from hypertension. A person can have a heart attack or stroke, both which can be fatal.

Recent research is suggesting an association between sleep apnoea in children and brain injury. Such injury affected the child's memory, attention and learning.


There is no simple cure, although there are a number of steps a person can take to try to alleviate the number of episodes experienced.

Try losing weight; Try sleeping on the side, rather than the bac; Cutting down on alcohol consumption and giving up smoking can help; A person with sleep apnoea should avoid using sleeping pills since they make waking up more difficult, preventing the person from taking a much needed breath; Recent research has found didgeridoo playing reduced episodes by strengthening the airway and other treatments include surgery, special nasal masks and dental appliances.


If you suspect you have the symptoms of apnoea, consult your medical professional immediately so that you can be referred to a sleep clinic.