A healthy sleeping pattern consists of a measured intake of oxygen and an equally steady expulsion of carbon dioxide. Sleep apnea, otherwise known as Obstructed Sleep Apnea or, OSA, occurs when this cycle of normal breathing is interrupted, and oxygen cannot flow naturally into the lungs.
This pattern of obstructed breathing is caused by the slow "collapse" of the soft tissues of the neck, throat and nose coming together to form a barrier which blocks the airways, in turn causing this serious affliction.
Sleep apnea can occur at any age, although commonly, onset appears during adulthood, and frequently worsens as the years pass. This decline in satisfying sleep due to snoring and sleep apnea is often created by the loss of muscle tone that comes with advancing age. Obstructed sleep apnea is also common amongst those who are obese. Sleep apnea occurring in those who are overweight is especially unfortunate because it helps to perpetuate a vicious cycle. One of the restorative benefits of a good night's sleep is directly correlated to the regulation of metabolism. In addition, lack of a well-rested body contributes to sluggishness and grogginess during the waking hours. This deficit of energy does not inspire an active lifestyle; and the body often suffers from lack of exercise while the brain experiences a lack of motivation, positivity and desire. This produces a sense of being stuck in a sort of physical and mental purgatory, and is definitely not applicable to living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
When a lack of oxygen in the body translates to an excess of carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood, the brain alerts the body to "reboot" itself in order to restore the unbalance. This phenomenon is typically manifested by the hallmark snoring,choking,coughing and gasping sleep apnea sufferers are subject to. Sometimes, the sufferer will awaken during these incidents, and this can happen many, many times each night, making the sleep apnea a very real, ever present enemy to the sleep deprived. Other times, the sleeper may not awaken, or gain any sort of consciousness, and the source of fatigue and ailing health may go undetected. In fact, over 90% of the time, obstructed sleep apnea will go untreated. So in a way, it is better to be woken up violently than to be suffocated silently; because treatment for obstructed sleep apnea is available and there are various remedies to employ.