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Sleep Apnoea


Stevo985
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Anyone ever had it, or currently have it?

 

I'm beginning to suspect I have it.

(yes I'm going to the doctors about it before anyone says)

 

 

I've had symptoms in the past, such as waking up completely non-refreshed regardless of how long I've slept so I've had my suspicions.

 

But over the past couple of months I've found myself, on several occasions, waking myself up because I've been holding my breath. Plus, over the weekend my gf was staying and said I was holding my breath so much in my sleep that she thought I was winding her up and doing it on purpose.

 

So yeah, anyone got any experience?

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I get it. Used to be quite bad to the point where I would often stop breathing for 60 seconds or more (according to the wife). I would be constantly falling asleep during the day, even to the point where I nodded off behind the wheel one afternoon. It was a wake-up call (pun intended).Apparently if you have a fat neck you are more prone to getting it, and lying with your head straight back leads to blockages in the airway. 

 

I went to a specialist and they wanted to do a sleep test and then put me on the CPAP machine (a breathing apparatus), but I wasn't too keen on that. I did some research that suggested that if you sleep on your side or with your head well elevated then it can alleviate the problem although not eradicate it.

 

Since I have been doing that the apnoea has been much improved, although still there. I rarely get drowsy during the day any more and I have to say I do feel more refreshed when I wake up. 

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I already sleep on my side though. Sometimes on my front with my head to the side but most of the time on my side.

 

I never sleep on my back because I used to snore but sleeping on my front/side seems to stop that.

 

I'll see what the doc says

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Well, yes, I've had apnoea for the last 20 years (at least - but that was when I was diagnosed with apnoea). Stopped breathing several times during the night. Would suddenly wake, gasping for breath, heart racing. Felt like a sleep-walker during daytime, found it hard to concentrate properly, prone to the occasional day-time nap... Classic symptoms of sleep deprivement.

 

Unfortunately, there's several possible causes. It could be a problem with the brain's respiratory control centre (rare, I'm told), but in most cases there is something obstructing the air flow when you're asleep.

 

If the problem isn't too severe, sleeping on the side (a tennis ball affixed to the back of a t-shirt or pyjama shirt is often suggested) or with the head and upper body elevated might be all that's needed. A nasal dilator such as Nozovent or a nasal strip might also do the trick. There's several anti-snore sprays as well, though I've not tried them personally - I ended up with a CPAP machine before the sprays became available.

 

I was told  that common problems are

a] a soft palate that's too soft - general suggestions: avoidance of over-weight, avoidance of alcohol, surgery to tighten up the soft palate

 

b] the nasal septum (the wall that divides the nasal cavity) might not be straight enough to achieve sufficient airflow. I had an operation to straighten the septum, but it didn't help me with my apnoea, as my problem later was diagnosed as

 

c] a tongue root that is placed too far back, thus obstructing the air flow when I was asleep. I was told a rather complicated operation was needed to fix that (basically, cutting through the lower jaw on both sides, pulling the tongue root forward in the process, and then some major tooth adjustment afterwards), and that they'd recommend trying a CPAP instead.

 

The night at the sleep lab was not too bad, really. The CPAP took a week to adjust to, at most, and I felt like a new man after that. I would recommend getting a CPAP with a humidifier unit. 

 

In my experience, a CPAP isn't too cumbersome if you really need it. It's an extra piece of kit to bring along on your travels. It doesn't need much maintenance. If you need it, the positives far outweigh the negatives. If you can do without it, then that's great. Lucky you.  :)

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Yeah, I have it. 

 

Sorry to hear that. Been there myself (still is, for that matter). But then again, it's a matter of severity. Some cases of apnoea have a (relatively) quick and easy fix, others do not. Did the doctor tell you anything about what could (possibly) alleviate the problem?

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Right. I'm not a med, just a run-of-the mill teacher, but I'd tend to rule out the sleep apnoea, if you only get it once in a blue moon. If you've got apnoea, you'd experience it almost every night. It could possibly be a side effect of the panic attack.

 

Then again, if you had apnoea most nights (but not sufficiently strong to wake up during the night) - that might provoke panic attacks. Those two conditions are often related. Perhaps a visit to a sleep lab might be in order? Two birds with a stone and all that...

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Cheers TB. Great and informative post.

I don't think mine is very severe, but I've definitely noticed it more recently so its something I'd like to nip in the bud if that's possible.

Like I said, I've had minor symptoms before, the sleep deprived feeling even when I'm well rested.

I'll see what the doc says

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Friend has it, needs to sleep wearing a little attachment over his nose like a small snorkel.  Seems to work.  Possibly a little unnerving for one-night stands, though.

 

Oh, yes, definitely  :) Sometimes problematic for wife/partner as well, but they get used to it after a while ...

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Right. I'm not a med, just a run-of-the mill teacher, but I'd tend to rule out the sleep apnoea, if you only get it once in a blue moon. If you've got apnoea, you'd experience it almost every night. It could possibly be a side effect of the panic attack.

 

Then again, if you had apnoea most nights (but not sufficiently strong to wake up during the night) - that might provoke panic attacks. Those two conditions are often related. Perhaps a visit to a sleep lab might be in order? Two birds with a stone and all that...

 

See that's my worry and one of the curses of GAD. I never know what is real and what is my body **** with me.

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Cheers TB. Great and informative post.

I don't think mine is very severe, but I've definitely noticed it more recently so its something I'd like to nip in the bud if that's possible.

Like I said, I've had minor symptoms before, the sleep deprived feeling even when I'm well rested.

I'll see what the doc says

I'd suggest trying whatever you feel might apply (a mix of general advice for better sleep and specific advice for apnoea sufferers like myself):

  • weight loss (not to the point of anorexia, though, but any superfluous pounds should go )
  • no smoking
  • no alcohol
  • try a nasal dilator
  • lots of fresh air during the day - and an open window at night-time
  • regular exercise 
  • making sure you are exposed to natural light (outdoors) during the day
  • avoiding both natural and artificial lighting just before going to sleep (particularly blue lights, apparently)
  • you may have a smartphone. Most people do nowadays :) Try a sleep-monitoring app like Sleep as Android or SleepCycle (iOS) to monitor your sleep pattern - deep sleep, REM, light sleep. Also, they'll wake you up while you are in a light sleep phase, making you feel less drowsy when having to rise and face the day. I find that waking from light sleep, even though I am awakened at an earlier time makes a difference.
  • monitor your sleep by making an audio recording. How regular are your breathing stops? Twice during the night? 20 times an hour?

    Sleep as Android is able to do that, certainly other apps will as well (and even old gadgets like tape decks and the like) - don't know whether iOS apps are able to, but I would wager that some are.

 

(edit) just seen your latest post. If it's observable by others, like your gf, then it's real. The apnoea might be the underlying problem. I know I had it for several years without knowing - or even waking up once during the night.

Edited by TB
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when I've shared rooms on travels a couple of friends have commented that they think I suffer from this 

 

but Mrs H has never commented

 

I figure it must be alcohol related on the basis  shared rooms are usually on lads weekends etc

 

 

Yeah, I have it. And combined with GAD, I think God/The Gods/Allah/Vishnu hate(s) me.

they are just jealous because they only get the Sabbath off instead of the whole summer :)

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