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Adventures in Sleep (Apnea)

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After years of being sleepy all the time, always tired, falling asleep at inopportune moments, etc, I finally got scheduled for testing at a sleep lab.


The number of wires used to monitor all sorts of different things was amazing. The nurse said that there are about 100 different sleep disorders, and the test that I had could diagnose about 80 of them. Pretty amazing.


This week we got the results. They told us that the average person stops breathing about 5 times an hour (which seems crazy to me in and of itself), but the night I was tested, I stopped breathing over 40 times an hour on average - severe apnea.


Next overnight trip there will be to try out a CEPAP (sp?), which is a little mask that is hooked to a pump of some sort that maintains positive air pressure into my airway. We'll see how that goes.


If it quiets my snoring, at least I know my wife will sleep better!


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Sounds like what I have. Did you get to the sleep lab through your insurance? I need to talk to Kaiser and see if they can hook me up. My wife hasn't slept with me in 3 years!


I wake MYSELF up with my snoring. It's pretty crazy.


Let me know how it goes as I'm very interested in anything that can be done to get the wife back next to me. :cry::love:

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Just fitted with a CPAP. Took some getting use to but now I am sleeping through the night.


At first everyone in the family had to come in my bedroom at night and look at the freak.


But I am over that now. I don't shut down during the day, like I use to.


I had to get a differant size mask then what was RX's to me.


Now I sleep and wake with vigor. :D

There's Charlie Parker and there's Miles, there's Trane. I'm none of those guys, so why am I beating myself up trying to find the lost chord all the time?

Herbie Hancock

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I will be intrested in hearing how this turns out. Likes others here I suffer from lack of sleep, get very sleepy when driving home from work, cannot sleep on my back because I wake myself up by snoring, etc. My mother has been trying to get my dad to go because of the same problems, and he stops breathing at night.



This post edited for speling.

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Originally posted by Innocuous:

....Now I sleep and wake with vigor. :D



Hopefully now your contributions to the Political Forum will become clearer and more meaningful.




Stone In A Pond



"Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on."

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I fell asleep at a red light on a street that crosses Sunset Blvd. :eek: I'm lucky my foot stayed on the break! Scared the pee-wadding out of me! I had the sleep test without, and then with CPAP. They tried sending me home with a machine, but a wouldn't take it because I felt it was a scam. I had taken the sleep test in advance of getting a somnoplasty treatment which they claimed made CPAP unnecessary. I couldn't tolerate the somnoplasty (I'm a gagger), so I guess being a "hose head" is in my future. My wife clobbers me when the variety of noises I make get to be too much :bor: , and I also sometimes wake myself.
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Wow Jeff, you too? I once slept through a green light. Amazingly enough, anyone who was behind me just went around and left me to my nap. I woke up and left on the next green light like nothing happened. :eek:
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I, too, am on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine. When I was tested a couple years ago, the doctor showed me the graphing of exactly where I woke out of deep sleep 56 times in an hour.


I used to feel like I didn't sleep AT ALL after waking in the morning. In my case, my severe snoring was really a 'gasping' for air that continuously woke me up or prevented me from entering 'deep' sleep-----my airways were virtually closed. Apnea puts a real strain on your heart, makes you a higher risk for heart problems and stroke, not to mention falling asleep during the day at the MOST inopportune (and DANGEROUS) times.


If you have sleep apnea, I can't recommend the CPAP enough. I'm a total believer. All it does is force air into your respiratory system at a pressure PRESCRIBED by your doctor. It is a low pressure that simply keeps your airways open so you can breathe regularly and evenly. They just take a day or two to get used to, and you'll feel FANTASTIC from the full night's sleep that you'll get. I can actually sleep LESS, because the sleep I get is very high quality sleep!


Like the ad says, JUST DO IT! You won't be sorry. And it will probably extend or even save your life!!

"You're either WITH me, or you're AGIN' Me!" (Yosemite Sam)
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There is a short article in the June Scientific American about some research being done on rats.

It seems the problem is not low oxygen per se.

Many people live in lower oxygen environs without

developing hypertension. According to the article, the frequent changes in the oxygen levels seem to cause regulation of blood pressure by tissue in the carotid artery that senses oxygen free radicals. "When oxygen levels plummet repeatedly, as in sleep apnea,free radicals overwhelm the carotid body into the "on" mode so that even when oxygen levels return to normal, blood pressure continues to surge." The researcher hopes trials of antioxidant therapy will start soon and will replace the present cumbersome therapys

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I really need to check this out. I've been a snorer for many years now. Doesn't seem to bother me, but it sure bothers my wife. And I may be suffering from apnea and be unaware because I tend to stay up too late anyway.


BBach, I'd love to see that article. I worked a show in which the keynote speaker was a prominent sleep expert. Of course low oxygen would be an issue, but he was more concerned that whether you became aware or not, apnea can wake you up to obliterate your REM cycle. It takes a long time to enter your first REM state each night. Less time to enter the second cycle and so on. Anytime you're awakened after even half of an 8 hour sleep period, you've only entered a single REM state and the REM cycle starts over, effectively causing you to lose several REM states or more per night. No REM sleep = exhausted, no matter how many hours you're unconscious.


Losing an hour or two of sleep per night without apnea causes you to lose a lot of REM sleep.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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Man... this is interesting, I've never (heard/read) about any other people with sleep apnea.

I suspect I have it. I snore pretty crazily often, though I'm not overweight or on my back.


What's scary though is waking up when you're not breathing. This happens rarely, maybe a few times a year. Jump up in bed in a full panic, breathing in over and over again as hard as I can, sounding like a choking horse. It feels like somebody came along and knocked the wind out of me with a baseball bat while I was sleeping, and then disappeared. After a couple minutes of regular breathing and calming down, my throat is still dry and hurts like crazy.

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What's kind of weird is knowing that I'm stopping breathing over 200 times a night or so (and probably have been for years), and that will be the case until I go for my CPAP later this month.


I guess you could say I'm living on the edge! Scary.

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I'm going in for an overnight test the first week of July. I have no problem sleeping and do so quite solidly. Unfortunately, I (at least according to my wife) snore pretty loudly. I really don't relish the idea of wearing an appliance on my face at night but if it will prevent my snoring and make my wife happy, so be it.
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PBBPaul, I sleep like a rock, and can sleep through anything. I didn't know that my breathing was stopping at all.


Important note - not everyone who snores has apnea, and apnea treatments do not always eliminate snoring.


2, I sleep on my side, though I'm not sure whether sleep positions have anything to do with apnea.

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my dad has apnea. he got the mask a few years ago and it changed his life. his face has color now, he's much happier all around, and doesnt snore anymore.


but most of all, he used to be pissed off all the time. now he's a big teddy bear.


only problem with the mask/pump setup is if it breaks at night, you dont sleep. my dad has been through 3 or four machines already and has had a few sleepless nights due to pump failure.


i dont have apnea, but i have something weird where my lungs collapse. after trial and error and many many doctor visits, a resperitory therepist hooked me up with a PEP VALVE. when i feel my lungs start to close up, i breathe into this valve and it forces my lungs open. its not painfull in any way but it does look weird.


i later found out these valves are specifically designed for people with cystic fibrosis (which i do not have thank god)

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I got a CPAP machine about six months ago. My diagnosis was mild to moderate apnea. Took a long time to get used to "the snorkel", but I feel a lot better now and drink less coffee, too. I've been told that I snore "like a foghorn" for years, but several times last year I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was smothering. I could not associate it with a dream - in fact, for quite a long while, I couldn't identify having dreams at all. I've slept on my back since a car accident in '67. Snoring, sleeping on the back and no dreams are all symptoms of apnea.


There are surgical attempts to cure apnea, but many do not succeed. There is a new throat implant that reduces or eliminates loud snoring, but has not been approved for apnea. I worry about any throat modifications vis-a-vis my voice.


It's cool to be able to dream again and not feel drag-ass all day long between cups of coffee. And to sleep most of the night thru without waking up thinking "My bladder isn't that full, what gives?"



He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.


...Bob Dylan

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Hey guys... I deal with sleep apneic patients everyday and it is a disorder that one shouldn't take lightly on. Sleep apnea is found to be one of the most important contributing factors to cardiac diseases nowadays. So if you think you have it, do yourself a favor and talk to your doctor about sleep tests.


Felix, and all, did they ever tell which type (obstructive, central or mixed) you have?

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I persuaded my wife to get tested properly a couple of years ago. Her snoring was so loud it used to rattle the windows, then, all of a sudden, she'd stop breathing. Many's the time I had to jab her in the ribs after what seemed like an eternity to get her started breathing again....


The sleep tests told her she had a problem alright (she didn't believe me!). Now, she sleeps great with one of those CPAP machines, but the humming/hissing noise of the darned thing kept me awake almost as bad as her snoring did.


I found the solution near the end of last year. I bought a large box of those squishy foam in-ear protectors. They block out everything! I sleep fantastically well ever since I started making myself deaf before I go to bed! I'd swear my hearing sensitivity and high frequency response have also improved since I started wearing the ear protection to bed.



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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Dave, the Rave:

[QB] Her snoring was so loud it used to rattle the windows, then, all of a sudden, she'd stop breathing.


You should have her arrested...that would solve the problem!

"How many heads does a man have?"
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I have sleep apnea.


As for the score, normal is below 10, severe is above 30 and life-threatening is over 90. I scored 60. CPAP didn't work and two surgeries only improved my score to 48.


If you're wondering if you have it, a big tell-tale sign (besides your breathing stopping while sleeping) is waking up tired regardless of how many hours you were "sleeping".

aka riffing


Double Post music: Strip Down




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For years, I've slept 10-12 hours a night and have always had extreme difficulty getting up in the morning (headaches, painful eyes, head feels like it weighs 10 times actual weight, body feels totally paralyzed).

I've always attributed it to psychological stress and unresolved issues, but the talk of not dreaming being tied to apnea caught my attention.

I seldom remember any dreams. The times I do remember them are the times when I sleep til 2-3 in the afternoon without anyone disturbing me.

Twice in my entire life, do I remember partially waking with a sensation of suffocation. The rest of the time, I know nothing. (Those 2 times, I was lying on my back).

Complicating matters is my wife & daughter. My wife works overnight, 12 hour shifts. She comes home after 6am and by then my 14 month old daughter is awake and frisky. My wife always brings her into our bed and from 6:30 to almost 8:30am it is a 3 ring circus in our bed and I can't get any sleep. Once our little girl settles down and naps, I get some sleep. But then my wife wakes me again around 11 and tells me to get milk for the kid. So the getting up, trip to the kitchen, mix the powdered formula, cool it down and bring it to my kid and my sleep is completely ruined. After feeding, she gets frisky again and climbs all over the bed, nightstands, knocks everything off the stands, and won't settle. I can't sleep under these conditions. So finally be 2pm, we're up and I feel a little groggy, but not bad.

Where I have problems with awakeness is long 2+ hour commutes, especially when it becomes a routine, like when I'm on a consulting job that lasts a few weeks.

I have friends who are over 350lbs and using CPAP machines, but I never considered the possibility, as I thought it was a problem limited to weight issues. Apparently not.

Several things ruin sleep, and apnea is not the only one. I have these family issues and a weird schedule.. I just work better at night. No phone calls, no disturbances, the kid's in bed and I can work for 8 hours with no interruptions. I get the kid to bed by 9pm and after that it's heaven. But I have the notion that the weird hours and the psychological burdens of unresolveable issues are creating an anxiety which causes me to want to sleep more. Not sure which it is, but it would be useful to find out. I envy some of my friends who sleep 3-4 hours a night and have way more energy than I do!

Best Regards,


Mark A. Weiss, P.E.




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My apnea was severe. I would get frequent migraines from them. Mine are caused primarily by my palate being so low in my throat and my tongue being so big for my small mouth. Snoring was severe. I was told it could kill me it was so severe. I just couldn't tolerate the CPAP hoses. It did work in terms of eliminating snoring, but I just couldn't come close to sleeping all night with it.


They were going to try and do major reconstructive surgery on me where they would have to lengthen my lower jaw to move it forward and also my maxcilla would have to be broken free and moved forward as well to compensate. Major stuff. Then, the oral surgeon decided to try a NACA device which is a mouth piece made specifically for you from castings of your mouth which holds the lower jaw forward during sleep much as the jaw-thrust method of establishing an airway in CPR. This device WORKS! Occasionally, I still can get into some snoring when extremely tired, but it has kept me from going under the knife and I do not get migraines any more!


Best of luck with your CPAP! If you can tolerate the hoses, it will work wonders for you! Boggs

Check out my Rock Beach Guitars page showing guitars I have built and repaired... http://www.rockbeachguitars.com
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