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A sleep disorder that is characterized by a person experiencing difficulties in sleeping due to interruptions in breathing. Following interruptions in breathing, a person gasps for air and, as a result, frequently awakens. In a person suffering from sleep apnea, the interruptions in breathing last more than 10 seconds and may occur several hundred times during one night. Sleep apnea is frequently accompanied by noisy snoring and occurs in 2% of females and 4% of males.