Hello all,

recently I asked myself, why there are people that constantly and regularly wake at the slightest breathing disturbance and on the other end of the spectrum there are people who can sleep through a whole apnea episode without even really noticing or waking up at all.

I suspect, the underlying organic cause of both groups to be the same: obstructed or narrowed airways at potentially multiple anatomical places. So let’s call the poeple who’s sleep is easily disturbed the UARS group and the other one the sleep apnea (SA) group. Of course, there’s a assumption in that idea, namely that the main difference between UARS and SA lies in the ability to tolerate a certain degree of breathing disturbances. Let me know, if you think I’m right or not on that one.

This brings me to the question: What biological mechanism allows SA people to go on sleeping through most of their apnea episodes? I could think of the following:

  • Higher CO2 tolerance
  • Heightened level of baseline alertness in the UARS group (probably linked to cortisol levels)

What do you think and is there a way to train oneself to make sleep more resilient against sleep disturbances? Are the UARS people generally the ones with lighter sleep who’d also wake at the smallest noise?

submitted by /u/NightVigil
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