Abstract Sleep-related breathing disorders are prevalent in the general population and are associated with a wide range of cardiovascular diseases. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep-related breathing disorders and is characterized by repetitive episodes of partial or complete upper airway obstruction, followed by oxygen-desaturation and arousals. These apneic events disrupt normal sleep and lead to various acute and chronic cardiovascular consequences. The current standard treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure eliminates apneas, improves sleep fragmentation and prevents consequent hemodynamic changes during sleep. Every patient with hypertension, obesity or heart disease should be asked routinely about symptoms of sleep apnea and referred for a sleep study if necessary.