Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing throughout the sleep cycle. These pauses called apneas can last from a few seconds to over a minute and can occur up to a hundred times. Apneas are caused by the collapse of soft tissue in the airway, which prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs and can last. Weak muscles in the airway, a large tongue, obesity, and other factors may cause airway tissue to collapse and obstruct breathing. Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle and can dramatically impact energy, mental performance, and overall health.