Overview

Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

Central sleep apnea occurs because your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. This condition is different from obstructive sleep apnea, in which you can't breathe normally because of upper airway obstruction. Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea may occur as a result of other conditions, such as heart failure and stroke. Sleeping at a high altitude also may cause central sleep apnea. Treatments for central sleep apnea may involve treating existing conditions, using a device to assist breathing or using supplemental oxygen.

Central sleep apnea care at Mayo Clinic

June 28, 2016
References
  1. Ropper AH, et al. Sleep and its abnormalities. In: Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  2. Badr MS. Central sleep apnea: Risk factors, clinical presentation, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  3. Longo DL, et al. Sleep apnea. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  4. Central sleep apnea. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pulmonary-disorders/sleep-apnea/central-sleep-apnea. Accessed April 3, 2016.
  5. Parthasarathy S. Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  6. Badr MS. Central sleep apnea: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  7. Cowie MR, et al. Adaptive servo-ventilation for central sleep apnea in systolic heart failure. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;373:1095.
  8. Riggs EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 2, 2016.