Frequent, short-term breathing stops in a dream are very common and almost always accompany them night snoring. Such breathing problems are called sleep apnea, and if you do not pay attention to them, the consequences can be very sad.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a blockage of the respiratory tract, in which the soft palate blocks access of the air, or the walls of the respiratory tract “collapse” for any of the reasons. Various factors can provoke such a respiratory disorder in a dream. As a rule, people with overweight, with a certain structure of the respiratory tract, people of old age are prone to apnea.
What happens during apnea?
When blocking the access of air in the body immediately disrupts the normal balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen, to which the brain reacts with awakening. Such awakenings can occur dozens of times per night, which leads to blood deoxygenation (reduction of its oxygen saturation). A temporary cessation of breathing during sleep, repeated several times during the night, leads to deterioration of the brain, vascular problems, and other unpleasant consequences.
However, with a running, serious apnea problem, the consequences can be not only unpleasant, but also life-threatening. Statistics show that nighttime heart attacks and strokes in half of the cases occur during apnea. Twenty to thirty seconds without breathing suffice and the person will need resuscitation.
How to identify the disease and what to do with it?
Today's polysomnography method is the best way to diagnose sleep apnea. Each respiratory arrest during sleep is recorded, the level of oxygen saturation, brain activity, and other vital signs are recorded.
As a treatment, modern medicine offers CPAP therapy, where the patient puts on a mask for the night, to which oxygenated air is supplied. Under a slight pressure, air is supplied to the nasal openings, providing a person with full breathing throughout the entire night's rest.
The mask is used for several months, after which normal breathing in sleep is restored and the risk of complications such as a heart attack or stroke goes away.
An alternative to the method of CPAP is only surgical removal of the causes that cause the cessation of breathing during sleep.