Researchers say 18 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Many people with sleep apnea are chronic snorers and are often startled awake many times during the night as their body becomes starved of oxygen.
However, these numerous interruptions in sleep though brief can cause severe daytime sleepiness. It can go on for years undetected.
Experts say some estimates are that life expectancy can be lowered by 20 years if left untreated.