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Central Sleep Apnea and Sleep-Related Hypoventilation

Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea is the most common breathing-related sleep disorder. It is marked by nocturnal breathing disturbances described as “breathing pauses” or gasping/snorting for air during the night, often resulting in daytime sleepiness.

More specifically, obstructive sleep apnea involves repeated episodes (at least 5 per hour of sleep per night) of upper airway obstruction (apneas or hypopneas) during sleep. Apnea refers to the total absence of airflow, and hypopnea refers to a reduction in airflow.

The disorder requires that the daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or unrefreshing sleep that results is not better explained by another mental disorder (including a sleep disorder, such as insomnia) and is not attributable to another medical condition. 


 Note: The 2013 DSM-5 indicates that this disorder is now called obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2020). Central Sleep Apnea and Sleep-Related Hypoventilation. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 Jan 2020
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