Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mr Sandman

It started with a simple appreciation for an afternoon nap on the weekend. Then it was a nap after work on some weekdays. Then it was a nap after work everyday. Then the weekend naps turned into 2-3 hour long naps.

It seemed no matter how long he slept, he always felt tired. Constantly feeling tired sometimes made him grouchy and irritable. His partner wondered if he had depression.

Then there was the snoring. He tried those nasal strips, a form-fitting mouthpiece, and even an anti-snore strap, all with limited and temporary success.

The severe snoring lead to short periods where he would stop breathing, followed by physical jolts as he gasped and resumed breathing. It became nearly impossible for them to sleep in the same room.

Although he slept more hours than the average person, he always felt tired and unenergetic because wasn't getting nearly enough quality, restful sleep.

It was suggested that he had sleep apnea. Upon researching sleep apnea, he agreed but felt that it would subside if he lost some weight. Further research showed that people who are not overweight can have sleep apnea, and that weight loss does not always cure it.

His partner became concerned with the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, diabetes, and sleep deprived driving accidents that can arise from living with sleep apnea so he strongly suggested a physical and a discussion with his doctor.

Eventually he agreed. The physical revealed elevated blood pressure (a symptom of sleep apnea) and the doctor scheduled him for an overnight sleep study at a local sleep clinic. He was 'wired up' for observation and sent to bed. The study revealed that his sleep apnea was so severe he stopped breathing over 100 times! The clinician placed a CPAP machine on him and had him return to sleep. When we was woken a few hours later, he felt more rested than usual.

A CPAP was ordered and calibrated especially for him using the data from the sleep study. When it arrived at the doctor's office he was trained on how to use and maintain it. Then came the moment of truth: the 1st night with his new CPAP.

Pure bliss!

He awoke the next morning feeling more rested and refreshed than he had felt in years. The rest of the day his energy level was higher and his mood/disposition was improved. For the 1st time in years his partner slept without the need to wear earplugs.

If you suspect that you or someone you know has sleep apnea, get checked for it. Don't waste another week or month not getting restful, restorative sleep. And don't risk acquiring high blood pressure, diabetes or other conditions due to delayed treatment. The sooner you're diagnosed, the sooner your treatment can begin and the sooner your quality of sleep and life will improve.

Crush du Jour: Dave Dudar

9 comments:

behrmark said...

Excellent post! You just may have saved someone's life today. My father, who is as skinny as a rail, has sleep apnea (he's also diabetic), so I know of what you speak.

Handsome crush today, Mark. He could cure me of all my ills. ;)

anne marie in philly said...

my spouse has a CPAP machine; so does his brother; and so does my next door neighbor.

I get second dibs on the crush when behrmark is finished with him! I wonder what he looks like under that shirt...

A Lewis said...

Sleep is essential. A requirement. I hate being disturbed at night. I'm glad that things are working out.

Jabacue said...

Great post! I was tested for Sleep Apnea a few years back.....luckily I didn't have it. I found this really effective nasal spray that allows me to breathe more easily.
Good information to have out there.....now for some sleepy nights!!

RAD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RAD said...

Im glad its all working out! ...I love naps and I love to get some good shut eye myself so I get it :-)

tornwordo said...

Good news good advice!

Java said...

I've used a CPAP for almost a decade. Can't sleep without it. Great post.

Jeff said...

I was supposed to have a sleep study done last year following a routine trip to the Dr's office, but she never arranged it. I really should make a point of having it done. Since we've been sleeping together in the same bed, Brad tells me a snore like there's no tomorrow. And I never truly feel rested in the mornings. Think I'll make another appointment with my doc!

A timely post for me ndeed! Have a great weekend!