Think of sleep apnea as trying to scuba dive when you only have a snorkel. While your partner with full scuba gear descends gently into the ocean, you have to splash to the surface every 30 seconds for air. Only you’re not underwater, you’re asleep. And the faulty breathing apparatus is your own body. Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that causes pauses in your breathing while you sleep. "Your brain is having to make a decision between breathing and sleeping," explains W. Chris Winter, MD, author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It ($15; If you have sleep apnea, your breathing may stop as many as hundreds of times a night, which can make it extremely difficult to achieve a state of deep sleep. You may even wake up multiple times. The result? You’re probably not getting enough sleep, or at least enough good sleep. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, and over time it can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and more. But the good news is that there are treatments available. Here, nine things everyone should know about sleep apnea.

These thoughtful stocking stuffers will help improve your loved one's zzz's.

Anthea Levi
December 14, 2017

We all know someone who hasn't gotten a good night's sleep in months. Maybe she's a new parent, or overwhelmed by work stress, or suffers from neck pain that troubles her during the night. The (sleep) struggle is real, which is why we've rounded up the best presents to bring more zzz's. Whether it's a loud neighbor or an Instagram addiction causing sleepless nights, these gifts will drown out the noise—and help her drift off to dreamland, stat.

RELATED: 8 Relaxing Gift Ideas for a Friend Who's Stressed to the Max

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