Health tips: Sleep apnoea

Dr Mohammad Azizur Rahman, chest specialist | Update:

Some people face breathing problem while in their sleep. After a while normal breathing resumes. This is sleep apnoea, a sleep disorder characterised by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep.

There are two forms of sleep apnoea—obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and central sleep apnoea(CSA).

In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a blockage of airflow and people start snoring, while in CSA the brain does not send the signal to muscles controlling breathing and it stops due to a lack of effort to breathe.

Someone who has CSA does not know about it. When s/he turns to one side in the sleep, snoring stops and s/h starts breathing again.

Please note that sleep apnoea and snorting are two different things. Not everyone suffering from sleep apnoea snorts or not everyone who snorts suffers from sleep apnoea.

  • Experiencing sleepiness or feeling tired during the day despite a sound sleep the previous night.
  • Having breathing problem in the sleep; if the person next to you says you often shiver 
  • Headache or dryness felt in the lips or the tongue
  • Snoring loudly
  • Being cranky or failing to concentrate


Sleep apnoea decreases our proficiency at work and increases the risk of a heart attack. But a few changes made in the lifestyle can address the problem.

Controlling the weight is one of them. You should also give up smoking and drinking alcohol. Try to sleep moving to one side so that your tongue does not roll down to your neck. 

Someone who suffers from sleep apnoea should consult a doctor so that it does not get more serious.

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