Sleep apnea is divided into obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive is caused by blockage of the airway and central apnea, which is less common, is caused when the brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles to breathe. As with most things there are different levels of severity of sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea the range of severity can be determined by a sleep study that counts the number of apnea, or cessation of breathing, that occurs if the number isn’t high, and then your sleep apnea might be cured by an oral device or by just losing weight. It should also be noted that not all awakening are the same there are apneas and there are micro-arousals.
What is a micro-arousal?
According to psychosomaticmedicine.org micro arousals are “a sudden transient cortical activation during sleep, but does not necessarily result in a behavioral awakening. The origin of an arousal is usually "cortical" but it can also be generated in response to sensory perturbations, such as respiratory interruption (apnea or snoring), alteration of heart rate or blood pressure, noise, or movement disorders The criterion for pathology in terms of number of arousals has not yet been determined, but a reasonable cut-off point, used in "normal" sleepers, is approximately 10 to 12 arousals per hour.”
So it isn’t uncommon to have micro arousals but when they develop into apneas then it is a concern.
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