Bappi Lahiri also known as the 'INDIAN KING OF DISCO' sadly passed away at the age of 69 due to a condition called OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA).

He was known for sporting hefty gold jewelry and bringing revolution into the Indian music genre by popularizing the use of synthesized disco in Indian cinema. Being an outstanding composer and singer alike Bappi ji will always be remembered and revered in the hearts and minds of all Indians

But what exactly is OSA?

An average human spends about 8 hrs drooling through dreams! That's roughly one-third of one's life! Crazy right! A good quality and quantity of sleep is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of nearly all the systems of a healthy human body.

But there is rather a grave disorder that might scare you from sleeping for the rest of your life. That is SLEEP APNEA


Sleep Apnea is the repeated ceasing and commencing of breathing when asleep.  Patients with this condition experience repeated loss and gain of breath unconsciously. When they wake up during these episodes they are completely unaware of this episode. This makes this condition difficult to detect and thereby gravely hazardous. This is a very serious condition and is more common in men than women. Broadly there are three types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea Complex Sleep Apnea.

Complex and Central Sleep Apneas are rather uncommon but OSA is growing increasingly common due to a rise in obesity and respiratory ailments.

 1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

This condition is caused by physical obstruction of the respiratory passage through the mouth or throat. This can happen due to the tongue pressing against the soft palate and the uvula and these in turn to the throat opening. This can make breathing increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible for air to freely enter the lungs. The good thing about OSA is that lung function is relatively normal in this condition.

Causes of OSA 

These are rather unclear, but some of the common causes observed among patients with this condition are as follows:

1. Obesity

This is the most common cause of OSA. Excess tissue surrounding the neck and throat region leads to skin folds weighing down the respiratory tract blocking them.

2. Bad sleeping positions

People who sleep on their backs are increasingly at a risk of developing this condition. Moreover sleeping with objects over your mouth or nose. blocking your nostrils is a hazardous habit that can trigger this condition.

3. Age factor

With age, functions of nearly all muscles in our body deteriorate and throat muscles are no exception to it. It is best to keep an eye out on your granny's!

4. Asthma or other underlying genetic respiratory disorders:

Asthma is a high-risk disorder and the foundation of a number of respiratory disorders including the above-mentioned. Moreover, inheritance of any respiratory malfunction may also cause the development of OSA.

Symptoms of OSA:

Mostly, symptoms of this particular ailment go unnoticed given the person experiencing them is rather unaware they even had an episode of Apnea while asleepBut here are a few things that you can look out for:

1. Loud Snoring, Although snoring is relatively normal and is caused due to the relaxing of your mouth and throat muscles, loud and vigorous snoring is no good. Along with being unbearable, it can be a pointer toward this condition.

2. Abrupt awakenings in night with a choked feeling followed by a feeling of dryness in the mouth or a sore throat: This is one of the most pronounced symptoms of OSA. If you come across a similar sign don't ignore it. Get out of bed and see a doctor!

3. Unexplained tiredness after enough sleep hours 

If you feel like you are still tired and drowsy even though you slept 8 hours or more a night, it could be because of this condition. Disturbance in sleep caused by continuous waking up due to shortness of breath is the main reason behind it. This causes a night of disturbed sleep and thereby the feeling of tiredness that proceeds. This can also lead to constantly feeling irritated, agitated, or experiencing mood swings with emotional unrest.

4. Waking up with a headache, again a decreased quality of sleep can trigger this symptom. It's best to stop chugging paracetamols and talk to your doc!

5. High Blood pressure and decreased libido. While symptoms could be less pronounced it is important to keep an eye out for any mentioned above. A little alertness could save your life! That brings us to the next part:


As complicated as this condition may sound it could be relatively easy to get rid of!

i. A simple change in sleeping position could put an end to the obstruction pattern almost immediately. The best position to doze off is the fetal position. This is mostly done by curling up on your side. This ensures relaxation to your spine and support to your neck and head thereby providing comfort. It can also help waking up without a sore back and neck pain!

ii. It is best to see a doctor in this condition. Home remedies in this case are really useless given the complications that this condition could cause. 

Medical treatments include installing a device called a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine continuously blows air into the throat via a mask worn over the nose (or the nose and mouth), keeping the airway open.

It helps to keep a continuous positive pressure inside your lungs thereby facilitating breathing. Some other methods include medications, oral appliances, or in some cases. 


It is associated with the failure of the brain to send necessary signals to the muscles to contract and relax to take in air and push it out. This causes wheezing, interruption in a normal breathing cycle, and respiratory cessation. The symptoms of Central Sleep Apnea are common to that of OSAHowever, the cause separates them.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused due to a physical obstruction whereas Central Sleep Apnea is caused due to failure in delivering signals which is thereby a disorder of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.

This can be caused due to an injury to the lower brainstem, having undergone a heart attack or a heart failure, respiratory issues, abruptly shifting to places with high altitude, medical conditions like Parkinson's disease, or kidney failure sometimes the cause is unclear.

It is of utmost importance to visit a certified medical professional if you experience such symptoms.


A rather rare condition Complex sleep apnea is the term used to describe a form of sleep-disordered breathing in which repeated central apneas (>5/hour) persist or emerge when obstructive events are extinguished with positive airway pressure (PAP) and for which there is not a clear cause for the central apneas such as narcotics or systolic heart failure.

Symptoms are similar to OSA and treatments including Positive Pressure devices, certain anti-obstructive Medications are commonly used.

We lost a gem to this condition, but it also emphasizes a need for alertness and vigilance where the human body is concerned.

As well said, 

'It's a pity to die of ignorance'

Bappi ji will always be in our prayers and may his soul rest in peace! Please do let us know in the comments section for any queries or suggestions! We'd love to hear from you!

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