What Causes Sleep Apnea?

It has been my experience that the root cause of all sleep apnea is in the communication between the brain and the diaphragm. As the sleeper moves from stage I to stage II sleep, the brain attenuates (reduces the intensity) of the signals to the skeletal muscles in preparation for transition to REM. This keeps us from acting out our dreams physically while we sleep. It is an unfortunate but real problem that often times this attenuation spreads over to other signals in the spinal cord that are adjacent to the signals to these skeletal muscles. This causes the breathing to gradually reduce until in some cases, it stops.After this cessation of breathing persists for some 10 seconds or so, the brain recognizes a problem and issues an “emergency order” to take a breath. This emergency order and the resulting deep breath partially arouses the sleeper to more of a stage I sleep level and causes them to draw in a rapid breath of air.

It is this breath that drags the soft tissue into the airway making a “snort”, shaking the sleeper and disturbing the sleep. The sleeper then starts to drift off to sleep and as they transition into stage II, the attenuation of signals begins again and the cycle repeats. …. all night.

So, yes, if you have lots of sagging soft tissues, it will be aggravated by this cycle of continually reducing the signal to the diaphragm until breathing stops. But even if you have “normal” soft tissue in your airway, your sleeping will be disturbed.

So to say that there is Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea is rather misleading. Clearly the obstructions make the cessations in breathing more disruptive. But the source of the problem is the same.

Snoring then, isn’t so much an indicator of sleep apnea as it is an indication that you are going to be more greatly disturbed by the rapid inhalations that are caused by the cesation of breathing that is the apnea problem.

This is why the herbs of Sleep Apnea Relief address the problem rather than the symptoms. The herbs of Sleep Apnea Relief are specifically chosen to support deep steady breathing during the night so that the signal to the diaphragm does not diminish to the point where breathing stops.

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