We've all heard myths about sleep. Sometimes they can be characterized as "old wives' tales," but there are other times the incorrect information can be serious and even dangerous. For example, it's often believed that snoring is common, and it's often portrayed in movies and television shows in a comical manner. However, snoring can be a symptom of a life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. If you sound like this when you snore, you should take it seriously.