These pauses can happen many times each night, leading to abrupt reductions in blood oxygen levels. The brain alerts the body when oxygen levels decrease, resulting in an arousal from sleep to restore a normal breathing pattern. Patients with OSA may wake up many times during the night without being aware of it, which results in excessive fatigue during the day even after a full night’s sleep.
The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that sleep disorder breathing affects between 7 million and 18 million people in the United States, with the majority of those cases remaining undiagnosed and untreated.
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