A sleep study at the SRMC Sleep Disorders Clinic can turn a life around, reports The University of New Mexico Health Sciences.

“Sleep should be a time when the body is at rest and healing,” says Nancy Polnaszek, director of the UNM Hospitals and Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) Sleep Disorders clinics.

Unfortunately, for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, the opposite occurs.

Sleep apnea causes the throat to close as the body relaxes during sleep and breathing momentarily ceases. That interruption, in turn, causes a “flight or fight” response, with a person regaining consciousness just long enough to take a breath. The brain returns to sleep and the process begins again – sometimes repeating the cycle several hundred times in a night.