Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea. The two main types are:

1.Obstructive sleep apnea

The more common form of sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops completely or airflow is severely reduced. During sleep, the muscles in the throat become more relaxed and the person’s airway collapses.

2.Central sleep apnea

Central Sleep Apnea is similar to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in that there is a cease in airflow during sleep; the body does not receive the stimulus to breathe and must wake up to resume breathing. 

Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary? 

Health, lifestyle, and genetics can cause sleep apnea. The more relatives you have with sleep apnea, the more likely you are to be at risk for sleep apnea. Research suggests that obstructive sleep apnea is 40% attributable to genetics, which means it can be hereditary. While research seems to show a genetic link, scientists have not found conclusive evidence about specific genes that are responsible for sleep apnea. The other 60% of causes for sleep apnea are lifestyle and health-related including risk factors such as obesity, menopause, being male, using alcohol or sedatives, smoking, and more. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, reach out to an expert to find relief for your sleep disorder. 

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These 

Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and motor vehicle accidents. If you suspect you or a loved one may have a sleep disorder, learn more about it here. Schedule an evaluation at Whitney Sleep today.

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs or symptoms, we encourage you to set up an appointment at one of our Minnesota locations. Get better sleep: contact us today at or visit our website.