Sleep apnea

sephiaJanuary 30, 2009

Hi ~

I'm usually on the Pets forum but thought I would post here about something I was diagnosed with.

I found out I have sleep apnea. What it is is stopping breathing throughout the night. I had a sleep study done and it was found that I stop breathing 42 times an hour everywhere from 14 seconds to 34 seconds.

I had a sleep study because no matter how many hours of sleep I get per night, I always wake up like I haven't slept at all, which, is true. With sleep apnea you don't necessarily wake up but it prevents you from transitioning into the deeper levels of sleep.

Being overweight and snoring contribute to it.

I've learned in talking to people that it is really very common. I now have to sleep with a CPAP machine - a mask that pumps in oxygen to open the airway. I really didn't know much about it until I had my sleep study nor did I know anyone with it. I didn't think I did anyway.

Why I'm posting this is because if you think you get enough hours of sleep but are still tired, of course there can be many reasons for it, but checking in to whether you have sleep apnea is very important. Sleep apnea leads to all kinds of health problems - diabetes, heart failure - people can even die in their sleep from it.

Thought I would pass along what I learned. I'm glad to finally get a good night's sleep.

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Who suggested your sleep study? You are so lucky to have been assessed and I hope you are able to adjust to the CPAP quickly. My husband has been using CPAP for 1 1/2 years and it has added so much to his quality of life. It took a month or so and trial with two different masks for comfort. He did have some forehead blisters as his therapist set the mask too tight. He is lucky to have a great care team. A brother-in-law in another state also has sleep apnea, but there is poor coordination and poor teaching with his providers. A friend in MI has had a CPAP for 20 years and continues meetings with a terrific support group. There are some great on-line Q&A forums.

Many folks with blood pressure and prostate problems also have sleep apnea. There are more folks than you know who have this and, if they can afford treatment, are more productive and certainly, better rested after using the CPAP.

Good Luck, sephia

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Hi blueberrier1 - I've had trouble with my sleep for many years. Part of my problem is that I'm a night person trying to function in daytime corporate America. I have to get up at 6:00 am to go to work but staying up to 11:00 pm or midnight doesn't help. If I go to bed earlier, because my body doesn't need/want to sleep earlier, I end up laying there.

I'm very fortunate to have very good health insurance from my employer. I was curious about sleep issues and did a Google search, and came across sleep studies/centers. I made an appointment and was sent a questionnaire that I had to fill out and send back. Met with the doctor and he recommended a sleep study. It was found that I stop breathing 46 times an hour and stop breathing for up to 39 seconds. No wonder I was waking up exhausted. Between not enough hours of sleep and then having disrupted sleep I was constantly fatigued. Long story short I got my CPAP last Friday. I'm trying to get used to wearing all the "gear" when I go to bed. I feel like a scuba diver.

The one downfall is that the sound freaks out my cats. They've been sleeping on the couch instead of on my bed ;>)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:32PM
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Glad to hear that you have gotten help with a CPAP. I have used one for about 8 years, and it has helped alot. I have also lost some weight, but I think I'd have the sleep apea regardless of my weight. I'm at 197 lbs. now, down from 228lbs.
Also, the noise kind of bothers my wife, and our cat wants to play with the hose, and bat the machine. So I resorted to building a small shelf, a protective box to contain the machine, and still let air move around. It keeps the cat away from it. Best luck.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:29PM
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