Sleep-disordered breathing | ResMed

About sleep-disordered breathing

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is characterised by abnormal respiratory patterns, or pauses in breathing, and insufficient ventilation during sleep. 

Some of the most common types of sleep-disordered breathing include upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), and obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnea syndrome* (OSAHS), also known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). 

If your patients have sleep-disordered breathing, they are most likely suffering from disrupted sleep, daytime fatigue and a reduced quality of life. But they are not alone: as many as one in five adults has sleep-disordered breathing.1 

Learn more about SDB

Snoring can have a disruptive effect on your patients’ lives. They’re often not the first to realise they have a problem: rather, it’s their bed partner who complains.  

The first sign of a sleep disorder is snoring, even though many patients won’t identify that as a sign of something more serious. There are other common symptoms too. 

There are three types of sleep apnoea: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), central sleep apnoea (CSA) and mixed or complex sleep apnoea. Each type has distinctive characteristics that enable diagnosis.

When left untreated, patients with SDB have an increased risk of developing serious chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A significant number of patients with COPD also have SDB. 

ResMed gives you the tools to screen your patients for sleep-disordered breathing, request a sleep study, and get them diagnosed. 


  1. Young T, Peppard PE, Gottlieb DJ. Epidemiology of obstructive sleep apnea: a population health perspective. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002;165(9):1217-39.

* An apnoea refers to a pause in respiration lasting more than 10 seconds. A hypopnoea is defined as a decrease in airflow of at least 30% for 10 seconds or more, with an associated oxygen desaturation or arousal.