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OK - I need some information/advise/help.

A friend tells me I must have sleep apnea. I know very little about this and don't know if its worth talking with my doctor about.

I assumed it was just me. I only sleep maybe 1 to 1 1/2 hours at a time at night. I wake, move around, sometimes walk (muscle cramps) and then try to fall asleep again (hard - takes at least 1/2 hour). I thought that I must just need the bathroom or leg cramp pains and for awhile, I would always check my sugar because of gastroparesis. HOWEVER, lately I find I can find sleep again better if I go out to the living room, prop myself up with pillows and my teddy bear, and then I can sleep for about 3 hours. Which is a relief (I'm tired!)

My husband has never mentioned if I snore -- he's a really sweet guy and wouldn't. But I probably need to ask him if I do (someone told me that sleep apnea patients snore? true? false?)

Anyone have a good suggestion of an article to read? Not sure where to start.

Also, someone said there is one solution - a big honky face mask every night but that it isn't so bad? Holy Cow. I don't want one more thing to worry about.


Thanks for any information you can share.
Joyful Day.

Views: 96

Comment by Teena on August 14, 2012 at 7:24am

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing is stops and starts. Loud snoring may be a symptom of it, and so as feeling exhausted even after a full night sleep. The length of sleep may not be a consideration. The most common of it is when the throat relaxes at sleep and the other due to brain signals that control our muscles during sleep...thus snoring. It may be advisable to find cause and treatment for your muscle cramps. Neuropathy perhaps? Best see your doctor. It may also NOT be sleep apnea. But just to avoid other complications like heart problems, it's best to see a specialist. I do hope all will be well...

Comment by Doris D on August 14, 2012 at 7:34am

Was gonna say that Teena u beat me to it.

Comment by muleman on August 14, 2012 at 8:00am

SLEEP APNIA! I am an Apnic and sleep apnia often means I stop breathing 1.000 times a night, sometimes more! It has nothing to do with lose of flabby gullet, but often obese/overweight people do have flabby gullets. I do, and my wife does, but apnia is a brain thing! We just also experience our throats closing and shutting off air flow to! But that is not Sleep Apnia! "It is a brain thing!". There are just lots of other physical issues that often make sleep for the Apnic almost impossible!
A good way to reduce snoring and help with the flabby gullet thing is to sleep on your side(Not on your back!) If you use (cuddle)a pillow and have your face slightly angles down. The airway stays open just enough. It (in me and my wife) reduces snoring. From love for each other we sleep in separate beds. I change my sleep position almost 2.000 times a night! She only twice!
Think about it and you will find some of your own ways to help yourself. Remember some opinions are hollow, and only opinions. You must seek professional help.
Yes sometimes it can wake us up or we might just die! I have found myself to be half asleep seeing everything, aware I am not breathing but stress free. I consciously tell my self to breath! People like me make terrible surgery patients. Twice I have been left with the Airway Tube down my throat, but unable to initiate my first unassisted breath. I discovered I need to swallow first to open my airway after surgery. Been left to recover and had to struggle to get attention. Once the tube is out I cough and splutter and then can take a first breath! I have surgery coming soon with general anaesthetic. It's scary even when you have told them!
Cramps are something else. Probably a salt or vitamin deficiency. But go see a specialist. I said specialist because your local doctor is just as likely to generalise about apnia as he is about diabetes! I wish you well. You wont find all your answers here. It' is a good place to seek general information and a lot of cumfort! Albert.

Comment by Kathy on August 14, 2012 at 8:48am

I was tested for sleep apnea. It's called a "sleep study". At that time I learned that if left untreated it can be very dangerous and damaging to the body, not to mention decreasing quality of life because you're always tired.
You also mentioned "cramps" - maybe you have restless leg syndrome. That where you do not exactly get cramps, but a creepy crawly feeling in your legs and cannot keep them still.
I found out that I do not have sleep apnea, but did have the leg thing, which I take meds for. It made a big difference.
Talk about this with your primary and he can refer you to a sleep center. You owe it to yourself.

Comment by Muragaki on August 14, 2012 at 10:53am

Hi Marcia, I wonder if you experience a sort of closing of the throat when you're reclined, say for a nap. I noticed it going on for me and mentioned it to the dentist, she immediately sent me over to the guy three chairs down who fits people with something they call a snore guard. It's a bite splint molded to fit over the upper and lower teeth but still allows you to breath nasally, while also stopping bruxism. Basically, when relaxing in a reclining position, my jaw slides too far back; the bite splint keeps the airway open and I sleep much better. Or at least I do when the hot flashes aren't cycling wildly and the indoor temperature isn't 15 degrees higher than outside this summer...

Comment by Marcia Skidmore on August 14, 2012 at 3:02pm

WOW! I came home from work with all this to read! THANK YOU!!!

Comment by smokinbeaver on August 15, 2012 at 11:22am

Marcia, usually someone with sleep apnea, there spouse, or whoever sleeps next to them notices. A person will be able to tell the other person's air way is shutting off because of how they are breathing during sleep. You watch them and can see each breath is increasingly less air going in till they rouse slightly and move a little, then it starts over again. It could be a sleep disorder of some other kind. I have never been to a sleep study or diangnosed with anything, but as I have gotten older, I have times where I only sleep an hr or so and wake up. Sometimes I can't get back to sleep. Sometimes I have noticed this happens when I am worried about stuff, other times I have no idea why. I did notice this happened more often when I got to 50 yrs and beyond. I use a generic sleep aide of Unisome, it has the ingredient thats in Nyquil. I used to use Benedryl, but the body developes a tolerence of that and it stops working. Have tried Ambien, but my inusrance makes me pay a co-pay of $50 for that and we just can't afford that. My husband (who does have sleep apnea) sleeps in his recliner in the livingroom with a CPAP machine and he gets a much more restfull sleep. Sleeping in the bed makes his back and legs hurt too much. We've both adjusted to this. I've been through menopause and the hot flashes stuff, but thankfully am past that (I'm 58) so I don't have that waking me up. It will take some time for you to figure out whats going on, but girl you are not alone and all of us here at tu care for you.


Comment by Richard P Cosgrove on August 19, 2012 at 7:00am

I was just tested and now have a cpap machine. I snore or at least that is what everyone says. I know that when I go on golf trips, my friends tell me that I stop breathing and they are waiting for me to take my next breath. I used the apnea link which is something you take home and test your self rather than going to a sleep center. They told me that I stopped breathing for about 244 minutes that night and the degree of apnea was quite high. So hopefully the machine will help.


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