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.
Even as a child I hated waking up early in the morning. Something about being startled out of a deep sleep by a clanging alarm made me feel disoriented and lonely. Alas, now, as a working mother, I often have to wake early -- to fit in a workout, check business emails, or make preparations for my children's school days.
I still don't like it.
For many of us, getting up before we would naturally is painful -- because it's too early, too sudden, or too dark. Is there a path to kinder, gentler awakenings?...