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What is sleep apnea?

ANSWER

Sleep apnea is when your upper airway is blocked, interrupting regular breathing for short periods of time -- which then wakes you up. It can cause severe daytime sleepiness. If it's not treated, severe sleep apnea may be linked to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

WebMD Health News: "Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be a Warning Sign of Depression In Older People." 

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Lucile Packard Children's Health Services. 

Medline Plus: "Narcolepsy." 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 13, 2020

SOURCES: 

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

WebMD Health News: "Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be a Warning Sign of Depression In Older People." 

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Lucile Packard Children's Health Services. 

Medline Plus: "Narcolepsy." 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 13, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

When should you call a doctor about sleep problems?

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    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.