Snoring is often a symptom of this serious condition.
Sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition that affects approximately 308 million adults in the around the world, and is most common among overweight men. In sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked or breathing muscles stop moving. Breathing stops or becomes shallower hundreds of times each night. People with sleep apnea are often less aware of their fatigue and sleepiness than are people with other types of sleep disturbances.
Sleep experts say that doctors should be more vigilant in diagnosing apnea because it contributes not only to daytime sleepiness, but also to traffic accidents, cognitive difficulties, and heart problems.
Until recently, sleep apnea was considered uncommon, and it often remained undiagnosed. Physicians rarely checked for it except in the stereotypical patient — an overweight, middle-aged man who snored. But in 1993, researchers learned that apnea is more common in both men and women than previously thought. They looked for sleep apnea in 602 state employees, ages 30–60, as part of a larger sleep study, and were surprised to find that 9% of women and 24% of men had at least five episodes of reduced breathing, or hypopnea, per hour. About 4% of men and 2% of women were estimated to have the full syndrome of sleep apnea, which includes abnormal breathing events and daytime sleepiness.
So if you are experiencing this, do not hesitate to visit your health provider so you could easily get treated to prevent any unwanted things to happen in your life.