I suffer from a severe case of sleep apnea. I have taken part in several sleep studies and it was found out about 6 years ago that while sleeping, I stopped breathing 87 times an hour. The good news was that I started breathing 88 times an hour. I also snore like a buzzsaw.
I first found out about my sleep apnea about 10 years ago. I would get very tired while sitting still, especially while driving. I figured it was due to working 10-12 hours a day, an hour's drive each way to work, and not getting enough sleep at night. One evening while driving home from work, I went onto I-76/US-224 from Ohio-21. Only I don't remember getting off the ramp. I do remember driving towards the speed limit signs, through one of the breakaway(thank God) posts, the car on it's side for a couple of seconds, then resting against a seedling. I fell asleep at the wheel. I wrecked the car. I was, thankfully, only shaken up.
My doctor at the time, sent me for a sleep study, which indicated that I had a mild case of sleep apnea. I was told to sleep on my side and try to lose some weight.
A few years later, after a change of health care providers and primary care physicians, I was being treated for hypertension and sent for another sleep study. That was the one which determined I had stopped breathing 87 times an hour. I was then prescribed a CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. The use of this machine would force me to breathe through my nose instead of my mouth by sending a prescribed amount of air via a mask attached to the machine. My health insurance has paid for this as part of my benefits. I got my first CPAP in June of 2003. A couple of weeks ago the readout was showing some error codes, which meant that it was starting to malfunction. My doctor prescribed and my insurance paid for a new one. My new machine is about a third of the size of the previous one. I had the same model pictured in the Wikipedia link posted above. I also don't snore while using the machine.
Sleep Apnea is a very serious condition. It was this that claimed the life of pro football star Reggie White.