Sleep Apnea

ADULT AND GERIATRICS
a man suffers from sleep apnea
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our staff includes world-class clinicians who have written books and are the thought leaders in the treatment of sleep apnea.
  • We have doctors who sub-specialize in treating sleep apnea in a variety of populations, including women, children and people who've had a stroke.
  • Yale Medicine operates a world-class sleep research laboratory.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing periodically while they’re asleep. The number of those interruptions can range widely, varying from about five times an hour to as many as 100 or more times an hour. Each interruption typically lasts from 10 to 20 seconds.

Whenever a person stops breathing, even momentarily, the brain is awakened slightly, preventing the deepest, most restful sleep. As a result, people with sleep apnea get much-lower-quality sleep, and often wake up feeling very tired, despite seemingly getting a full night’s rest.

It’s estimated that about 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea – slightly less than 10 percent of the population.

There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive and central.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common, is caused by the muscles in the back of the throat relaxing too much, causing the airway to collapse, thus preventing breathing and lowering oxygen levels in the blood.

Central sleep apnea, which is much rarer, occurs when the brain fails to transmit signals to the breathing muscles during sleep.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.