What are Sleep disorders? The CDC has called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. According to them 50-70 MILLION Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Lack of sleep can impact health in many ways. It can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and depression.
My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started reading about it when he would wake me in the middle of the night with a start because he would make strange choking sounds. His breathing repeatedly stops and starts and I was losing sleep worried he would die. He always has snored loudly and he never seems rested but this was a little different. It was very scary.
I think it is important to use science to help us diagnose and treat problems if there are no natural solutions. After years of worrying he would die in his sleep and I finally begged him to take a sleep study test and when he finally did an overnight sleep study it said he did not have sleep apnea. I was surprised and could not believe it. Then the symptoms worsened and even his psychiatrist thought it might be more than due to his BI POLAR 2 symptoms and said that he needed another test, this time from a more trusted place. He again “passed” the test and was not diagnosed with sleep apnea. More time passed and his new doctor told him to do an at home test and when he did the test was positive. The nurse said it was really severe and she was shocked that the other sleep studies did not pick it up.
I can hear your wheels turning. Which was right, the two negative tests or the one positive tests? I am not sure, but all I can report is that he rarely snores now and only when his mask is off kilter. He sleeps BETTER. It did not solve all his issues because his sleep is also impacted by his other symptoms, restless leg syndrome, caffeine usage, stress and a ton of other things that keep him from getting a good night’s sleep. However, he and I both feel that it is helping him to have the CPAP machine.
I have sleep disorders as well. All through my childhood I had insomnia. Even as a baby Mother would say that she would see I was fully awake. I did not cry or bother anyone so I was left to just lie there and rest and I would nap and dose off and on. I had a lot of nightmares and in college I learned some of those were actually night terrors. Night terrors desert its own post but suffice to say it is just like it sounds. It is terrifying and I would have sleep paralysis and it usually impacts children and they grow out of it but I never did. Would you believe sleeping with my husband helped to ease them? Yup – no clue why. Take that science! LOL
Seriously though, I had an episode of night terrors just a couple of months ago. It has been a very long time since I had one. I have always slept with my mouth open and my tonsils are terribly scarred form many throat infections in my childhood. My nose stops up because of pollen or dust and I snore. None of my lovers have ever complained about it but Samuel has mentioned it here and there.
My blood pressure started to register high years ago and my doctors have been trying to figure out what the cause was. After weight loss and documenting my food, one doctor felt it was stress related and not biological. My recent doctor put me on meds and they work but my body was pretty resistant to it. She waned to “rule out” sleep apnea so she ordered an at home test. I got little to no sleep that night because the monitor was uncomfortable and I’m sure I turned it off and parts fell off during my struggle during the night.
I was pretty sure it would come back as inconclusive but instead the report diagnosed me with severe sleep apnea. Again, I believe in science but I am not ready to think this one test is enough. I am somewhat claustrophobic and dreading sleeping with anything on my face. I barely could stand the little oxygen pokey thing that goes in your nose. What is that called? Okay, I just Googled it – a nasal cannula. I wonder if I can just set up an oxygen tent? LOL
So, I messaged my doctor and asked if I could have a sleep study done in a lab. I am hoping that with someone watching me they will be able to see if I unhook stuff or actually let me sleep without anything one night and then monitor me with stuff the next night. I guess I want a very thorough test to make sure I get the right diagnosis. I’m not ashamed or afraid, mind you – I just would like to be more sure.
I am also worried that all my other factors – recent bout with situational depression, anxiety, etc. may be attributing to my health and it is not simply sleep apnea. I guess time will tell. Getting old sucks. LOL Just the thought of sleeping with something on my face is stressing me out. If I am ultimately diagnosed with sleep apnea I hope there are other solutions besides this: