I shared a motel room with my sister on a trip back in May. One morning I woke up and she said, "Man, did you snore! And I was watching you. I think you have sleep apnea."
I was surprised, because no one had ever told me that. I figured she was being ultra sensitive since she's a first-year nursing student. Besides, my husband has sleep apnea and I was nothing like him! Art fell asleep at friends' houses after dinner, at intersections waiting for the light to change, in meetings, and his snoring kept me awake many nights. Three years ago I badgered him into being tested for sleep apnea. He did it only at my insistence, and not very gracefully. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and fitted with a CPAP machine. He now sleeps like a rock, with no snoring.
When I got home from my trip I sent an email to my doc asking whether I could be referred to the sleep center. The first reader of my email in the doc's office sent a referral to the sleep center. The second reader was my doc, who directed me to take the Epworth test for daytime sleepiness. I scored a six; sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a score of ten. Doc said he couldn't make a strong case for referring me to the sleep center.
The next week, I got a call from the sleep center. I told them what the doc had said and they said I could come in anyway, for an evaluation. I did.
Based on several factors (weight, circumference of neck, configuration of open-mouthed throat), I was set up for a home test. I took it the night before last. I took the machine back yesterday morning. By 2:00 the results were in: I have moderate sleep apnea. I'll be fitted in the next couple of weeks with an APAP machine - it's the generation after CPAP and it delivers air at a varying pressure depending on what's needed, rather than Continuously.
As I look back, I shouldn't have been surprised. My sleep habits had changed, but it happened so gradually I hadn't noticed. I'm looking forward to my sleep aid. I expect I'll have much improved sleep.
Are you sleeping?