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Sleep Disordered Breathing

WHAT IS SLEEP DISORDERED BREATHING?

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) describes a group of disorders characterized by:
  • Abnormal┬árespiratory patterns (the presence of apneas or hypopneas)
  • Insufficient ventilation during sleep

An apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more, and wakes up just enough to take a breath. A hypopnea occurs when a person doesn’t stop breathing but breathing becomes shallow (at least 30% decrease in airflow) for 10 seconds or more, with an associated oxygen desaturation or arousal. Either way, SDB disrupts a person’s sleep pattern, night after night, which not only makes the patient tired and exhausted the next day, but may also put excessive strain on the nervous system and major organs.

One of the most recognizable symptoms of sleep disorders is snoring, even though many people ignore this sign or fail to recognize it as a symptom of a more serious condition.

Other common symptoms of sleep disordered breathing may include:
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)
  • Poor concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Depressed mood
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Nocturia (frequent waking in the night to urinate)

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your clinician about SDB and further diagnosis such as a sleep test.