Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that can have serious health complications. An individual with sleep apnea repeatedly stops breathing for short periods of time while asleep. Some of the most common symptoms are loud snoring and tiredness even when the affected individual has technically slept enough. There are three main forms of sleep apnea. The first and most common, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the muscles in the throat relax and the airway becomes obstructed. There's also central sleep apnea, which is caused by the brain failing to send the right signals to the muscles controlling breathing. With complex sleep apnea syndrome, patients exhibit both central and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
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Hypersomnia is the medical term for excessive sleepiness. An individual with this symptom struggles to stay awake throughout the day. Hypersomnia can be a dangerous condition because it can cause patients to fall asleep at any moment, including while they're driving, operating machinery, or at work. There will also often be the same symptoms seen with chronic sleep deprivation, including 'brain fogginess' and a general lack of energy. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that up to forty percent of the population experiences hypersomnia occasionally. With sleep apnea, this sleepiness occurs even when the affected individual got enough sleep the night before. Periods of hypersomnia tend to last a long time rather than being intermittent.
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