Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person stops breathing during sleep, perhaps hundreds of times, usually for periods of 5 to 10 seconds or longer. In most cases the person is unaware of it. Apnea is usually accompanied by snoring. People who have sleep apnea may not even be aware of the disorder, but it causes weight gain, heart and lung disease, high blood pressure and pre-diabetic conditions. Ask your partner or family if you have snoring or sleep apnea disorder.