Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zzzzz Please

Originally posted on August 14, 2010

As most of you know, I have sleep apnea. Another lovely side effect of morbid obesity. I use a CPAP machine every night when I sleep. Albeit the fact that it helps me sleep and that I wake up rested and with energy, I hate that friggin machine. I have strap marks when I wake up in the morning. I have skin irritation on my forehead, nose and above my mouth. It royally bites and I can't wait until the day I do not need it anymore.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

Male gender
Being overweight
Being over the age of forty
Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
Having a family history of sleep apnea
Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems including:

High blood pressure
Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks
Worsening of ADHD

In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, as well as academic underachievement in children and adolescents.

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
Loud snoring
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
Sleepiness while driving
Morning headaches
Restless sleep
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia

If you have any of these symptoms, it would be worthwhile to have it checked. The polysomnigram is an easy test they use to determine your oxygen levels while you sleep. I even did mine at home.

I know it is scary but it is a life threatening condition so if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms, PLEASE get it checked out. Until next time...


  1. Yep. I had sleep apnea for 10+ years. Was awful. Could not sleep on my back. But didn't want the CPAP, so I slept on my side, which helped. But the waking not breathing/choking sucks.

    After I got under 230, it began resolving. I am now at 203 and happily able to sleep on my back again (my fave sleep position). I missed that so much. It's like getting this immense birthday present to be able to just lie back and not worry about waking up choking.

    Definitely worth losing the weight just to do that...sleep normally. :)

    Happy dreams and happy weekend!

  2. You don't have to have morbid obesity to experience sleep issues. Twenty pounds ago I snored like a lumber jack.

  3. I sure have noticed how much mine helps me, if I am not wearing it I sound like an old man in the morning when I first wake up. have a great day. hoping one day we both don't have to wear the silly thing. hugs.


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