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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 and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, 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. (2019). Central Sleep Apnea and Sleep-Related Hypoventilation. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 8, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Oct 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Oct 2019
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