Sleep apnea (sleep-disordered breathing) is a serious and common sleep disorder affecting about 20% of men and 10% of women. Its name comes from a Greek word, apnea, meaning “without breath.” People with sleep apnea stop breathing briefly many times during the night. The breathing pauses last at least 10 seconds, and there may be 30 or more pauses per hour. The main symptoms of sleep apnea are persistent loud snoring at night and daytime sleepiness. Another symptom is frequent long pauses in breathing during sleep, followed by choking and gasping for breath. People with sleep apnea don’t get enough restful sleep, and their daytime performance is often seriously affected. Sleep apnea may also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. However, it can be diagnosed and treated.