Causes of Sleep Apnea
The different types of sleep apnea are caused by different factors.
In the case of obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles that are in the backside of the throat relax to such an extent that they obstruct the airway and you stop breathing momentarily. This lowers the oxygen level in the blood and the brain sends a signal to wake you up and resume breathing. This period of awakening is typically so short that most people do not even remember it.
In the case of central sleep apnea, your brain does not send signals to muscles that control your breathing. It is likely that being short of breath wakes you up and you may have difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep. Central sleep apnea is most commonly caused by different types of heart diseases and even by a stroke.
In the case of complex sleep apnea, people have obstruction of the upper airway similar to those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, they also have difficulty with maintaining the breathing cycle and there may be occasional lapses in the breathing cycle.