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.