Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for seconds or even minutes and can occur up to 30 times or more an hour. A sleep test is a diagnostic test used to diagnose sleep apnea. During a sleep test, a patient is monitored overnight in a sleep lab and the results are used to determine the severity of the sleep apnea and to develop a treatment plan.
Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, and sleeping on your side instead of your back. A doctor may also recommend the use of a CPAP machine, which is a device that delivers a continuous flow of air to the nose and mouth to help keep the airways open. Surgery may also be an option for some people.