Sleep apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. It is most commonly caused by anatomical flaws. The size and positioning of a person's neck, jaw, tongue, tonsils, and the tissue structure near the back of the throat can directly affect airflow. People with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body's supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.