How long Sleep Apnea causes you to stop breathing by Cape Cod, MA

sleep expert Dr. William Scheier.

Video Transcript

How Long Do You Stop Breathing at Night?

The easiest way for me to explain to people what sleep apnea is or what an apnea is for us to do a little exercise. So I’d like you to do this with me--breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, and hold your breath--don’t breathe – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. OK, you can breathe again.

That is what happens in one apnic event. You can have up to 50 of those events in an hour if you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea falls under the category of sleep disordered breathing. Disordered breathing when sleeping causes fragmented sleep. Fragmented sleep and bad breathing are not a great combo.

So what happens during these events is your blood oxygen level drops to an unhealthy level, affecting both your heart musculature as well as many other systems in your body and interrupts the healing capabilities of sleep.

So again, fragmented sleep and bad breathing are a dangerous combo and
have serious ramifications on your overall systemic health.