​Millions of Canadians are at risk of a serious sleep condition — here’s why so few are diagnosed

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Carolyn McCann goes to bed wearing take-home sleep test equipment, in hopes of understanding why she’s so restless through the night. (Diane Grant/CBC)

(Duncan McCue/ CBC News) — No matter what time 67-year-old Carolyn McCann hits the sack, she’s wide awake by 4:30 a.m.

“I don’t think I have a lot of nights where I sleep eight hours solid. I haven’t done that for a long time now,” says McCann, a retired nurse and grandmother.

She knows she’s not alone. Her friends often complain about restless nights. “They don’t sleep either … not the way you used to sleep when you were young.”

Statistics Canada estimates one in three Canadians sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night. Some experts say the culprit is too much screen time. Others blame increased work demands and caffeine consumption.

But few Canadians realize their daytime doziness may be due to sleep apnea, an obstructive sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing at night, often for as long as 10 to 30 seconds at a time. (…)

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