Screen Apnea

Experts warn about the emergence of a specific disorder, known as screen apnea. It turns out that 80% of the people, who write any text on their computer, cease to breathe correctly, which can be very harmful to health.


Sleep apnea is a common disorder associated with the violation of breathing during sleep. People suffering from this disorder can briefly stop breathing (5-7 seconds), sometimes many times per night, which often leads to a sharp transition from REM to non-REM sleep phase and other acute reactions. But now experts are talking about screen apnea (or email apnea), i.e. breathing problems that arise when a person is awake.

And if classic sleep apnea does not occur very often, screen apnea, as scientists believe, is observed in 80 % of the population. Blogger Adam Clark Estes wrote for Gizmodo about his own feelings. He said that he felt dizzy when concentrating on some important text. A few deep breaths help, but then again there is a state of dizziness, when you restart work.

Estes decided to find out the cause for this phenomenon and determined that he suffered from screen apnea. For the first time this term was used by one of the Apple leaders, Linda Stone. She said that when processing texts, many people cease to breathe properly. They hold their breath, limiting the flow of oxygen to the brain, causing a state of hyperventilation, which acts on the sympathetic nervous system.

Because of its activation, a person’s pupils dilate, the heart rate speeds up, increasing the volume of face blood vessels. There is a restless legs syndrome, and excessive sweating. All these functions can be activated by the body, which feels a physical danger – limiting the oxygen supply. Linda Stone even asks the question: is the surge of obesity and diabetes due to improper breathing and lack of movement at the time when the body needs it? She recommends the people suffering from screen apnea to control their breathing and even to use a heartbeat monitor.