11 doctors weighed in:

Is it true that we sometimes stop breathing while sleeping?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Goldsmith
Critical Care
5 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

There is a condition called sleep apnea which can be due to the anatomy of the upper airway or can be caused by abnormalities in the brain.
The latter is referred to as central sleep apnea. Either way people with sleep apnea have numerous episodes each night in which they briefly stop breathing.

In brief: Yes

There is a condition called sleep apnea which can be due to the anatomy of the upper airway or can be caused by abnormalities in the brain.
The latter is referred to as central sleep apnea. Either way people with sleep apnea have numerous episodes each night in which they briefly stop breathing.
Dr. William Goldsmith
Dr. William Goldsmith
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1 comment
Dr. Michael DePietro
While periods of apnea ( not breathing) can be seen in patients with sleep apnea, they are very infrequent in healthy people
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Occasional pauses while sleeping is not alarming.
By definition if a patient stops breathing for more than 10 seconds, that is apnea. A patent who snores and has witnessed apnea should have a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.

In brief: Yes

Occasional pauses while sleeping is not alarming.
By definition if a patient stops breathing for more than 10 seconds, that is apnea. A patent who snores and has witnessed apnea should have a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.
Dr. Patrick Melder
Dr. Patrick Melder
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine

In brief: Yes

If a patient has sleep apnea, they may stop breathing many times.
As the breathing stops, the person wakes up enough to breathe again. These are called arousals. A person with sleep apnea may have many of these arousals which fragments sleep leading to daytime sleepiness. The person usually is unaware of these arousals. This entity is diagnosed with a sleep study and there are treatments available.

In brief: Yes

If a patient has sleep apnea, they may stop breathing many times.
As the breathing stops, the person wakes up enough to breathe again. These are called arousals. A person with sleep apnea may have many of these arousals which fragments sleep leading to daytime sleepiness. The person usually is unaware of these arousals. This entity is diagnosed with a sleep study and there are treatments available.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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Dr. Gutti Rao
Internal Medicine - Hospital-based practice

In brief: It can happen

Some people with sleep apnea do stop breathing for some moments at times.

In brief: It can happen

Some people with sleep apnea do stop breathing for some moments at times.
Dr. Gutti Rao
Dr. Gutti Rao
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