Causes of Sleep Apnoea

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Causes of Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a disorder that we can define as inadequate respiration during a very short period of time (10 to 60 seconds) that happens while you are asleep. This occurs when your airways become obstructed throughout the night, resulting in a sense of suffocation, eliminating your chances at proper rest and making it impossible to reach a deep sleep. If you have sleep apnoea, you will notice that you are very drowsy during the day. If you want more details on why this disruption occurs, pay attention to the following OneHowTo article in which we explain what are the causes of sleep apnoea.

You may also be interested in: What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea Syndrome?
Steps to follow:

As we said, sleep apnoea refers to a momentary cessation of respiration whilst a patient is asleep. To understand the cause of sleeping apnoea and the factors that may trigger it first you must understand that while we sleep, all of our muscles, including the muscles of the throat, are completely relaxed. When the throat muscles relax, there tends to be a backward movement by the tongue and palate, and it is possible that a part of the larynx becomes obstructed. This makes the passage of air impossible and causes a person to snore, produces the respiratory stop in that moment, which is what is termed apnoea.

Causes of Sleep Apnoea - Step 1

The main sign of sleeping apnoea is constant and intense snoring, which is caused by air moving through the blocked respiratory passages. Despite this, it should be taken into account that not all the patients suffering from sleeping apnoea have these snores, since other suffer only from the lack of breathing for a few seconds or from discontinuous breathing.


Once the causes of the apnoea are understood it is also important to know those risk factors that increases the chances of this sleeping disorders. And one of the most frequent is obesity, as people who are overweight present a greater volume of fat in the area of the neck, making it likely to promote the narrowing and blocking of the superior airways whilst sleeping.


Another of the main risk factors to suffer apnoea is to have larger tonsils than normal This condition can also lead to respiratory obstruction and can cause snoring, as well as producing difficulties in breathing correctly.


In addition to the two previous points, there are other factors that can also increase the risk from this sleeping disorder, these are:

  • To have the jaw bone considerably shorter than the maxillary.
  • Certain alterations or anomalies in the form of the palate.
  • Have relatives who have suffered this pathology.
  • Being over 40, as it has been observed that it affects more commonly patients who are between 40 and 60 years of age.
  • Taking certain sedatives and tranquillisers, since the laxity that they cause in the oral cavity during sleep can favour the blockage of the throat and, therefore, block the air in transit towards the lungs.

Do not forget to visit your doctor in the event that you suspect that you suffer from sleep apnoea or a similar condition.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Causes of Sleep Apnoea, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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