Nov 16, 2009

I'm a Sleep Apneac

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I posted late last week about participating in a sleep study to determine if I have sleep apnea, and today I met with the sleep specialist. He confirmed my suspicions about having a sleep disorder, which was not a surprise, but it was the magnitude of the severity of my obstructive sleep apnea that intrigued me.

Specialists developed something called the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) to measure the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour. Scores above 30 events per hour are classified as severe sleep apnea, and I averaged a whopping 51 events per hour.

My average apnea event lasted 23 seconds in duration, and I have times in my lousy sleep where my oxygen saturation level falls below 90 percent. Put another way, I typically manage to sleep for only 45 seconds or so before my obstructed airways cause a fall in oxygen levels to the point where my body forces me to wake up.

Even simpler was the summation my physician provided: "You probably haven't experienced a decent night's sleep in five years."

So next week I get to repeat the sleep study, except this time I will be fitted with a CPAP machine. Assuming that I show some signs of improvement in the next study, I will get to take the machine home with me. I am looking forward to once again experiencing some semblance of normal sleep, as well as a reduction in the incessant sleepiness that has been my lot for many, many months.

6 comments:

Bbcmjeep43 said...

I too have sleep apnea, and was fitted with a Bi-Pap machine, which was easier for me to breathe with. The machine is hard to get used to, until you begin to realize how much it's really helping. The C-Pap felt like it was choking me, and I couldn't breathe right with the constant pressure flow. The Bi-Pap has a more natural rhythm, and gives you time to exhale easier. If the C-Pap gives you trouble. ask for the Bi-Pap machine, they have them both.

Mr. Puggle said...

well at least you know. sleep tight, don't let the bugs bite : )

historymike said...

Thanks for the advice, Chris - I'll be sure to ask about Bi-Pap.

historymike said...

Mr. Puggle:

I think bedbugs would be the least of my sleep issues...

Remy T. said...

Over 50 apnea events per hour! That's severe sleep apnea, no doubt!
BiPAP machine is the best solution, but is expensive. Here are the best tips to chose a cpap machine: http://www.sleep-apnea-guide.com/best-cpap-machine.html .
Anyway, congratulations, because you went to the sleep doctor. Other people still ask themselves why are they so tired?

microdot said...

Mike, I'm back in France and a married man...To be unable to sleep must be a slow torture...
My wife is an insomniac and she says that my most annoying trait is being able to fall asleep instantly...
I also wake up at exactly the same time every morning...that even wierds me out!
I have to read more about apnea because I believe both of my sisters have it. Do you know what the cause is?