A Physical Model of Inspiratory Flow Limitation in Awake Healthy Subjects
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The obstructive syndrome of sleep apnea/hypopnea is characterized by repeated partial or total obstructions of the upper airways (UA)  resulting in intermittent asphyxia and repeated micro-arousals. Sleep disordered breathing affects about 9% of males and 4.5% of females between the ages of 30 and 60 years , 15% to 20% of elderly people  and 5% to 10% of children . Sleep apnea and hypopnea events are easily identified while more subtle events, such as inspiratory flow limitation episodes, are difficult to detect. Flow limitation is the result of a partial occlusion of the upper airway during sleep.
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