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What is central sleep apnea?

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In central sleep apnea, breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is usually associated with serious illness, especially an illness in which the lower brainstem -- which controls breathing -- is affected. In infants, central sleep apnea produces pauses in breathing that can last 20 seconds.

From: Central Sleep Apnea WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American College of Physicians: "Sleep Apnea."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Sleep Apnea."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Sleep Apnea Information."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 30, 2018

SOURCES:

American College of Physicians: "Sleep Apnea."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Sleep Apnea."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Sleep Apnea Information."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 30, 2018

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What conditions are associated with central sleep apnea?

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