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01 August 2008 @ 08:03 am
Back from a night at a sleep center  
I had a sleep study done to update my authorization for more sleep apnea supplies. It's time I got a newer machine where they can check how I'm doing by looking at output from the machine's own data card. By machine I mean a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure device. It measures when my oxygen level dips and turns up the pressure to keep my airway open at night. I never sleep without mine.

Last night started out, though, with a half night without a CPAP to verify that yes, indeed, it is sorely needed. I normally use mine even to nap because now that I'm used to REALLY sleeping, I find that without a CPAP I jerk completely awake, heart pounding, soon after I initially fall asleep. This pattern continues the whole time. Where I used to be so chronically tired that I kind of half slept through my apnea episodes, now I'm not used to them and my body goes to full alert mode. It's like a torture method--prisoner starts to fall asleep and you startle them awake again. Over and over. You can see why I won't sleep without my machine. They had never met anyone so compliant as I am. I was reluctant to do that part of the study but insurance requires it. I was so relieved to get my CPAP back for the second half so I could just get some sleep!

For those afraid to get diagnosed--don't be. You won't believe how much better you will feel with real, deep, restful sleep. If the first mask you try doesn't work well for you, ask for another kind and insist, even if you pay for it yourself. There are so many kinds that one will definitely fit your face and sleep style and they are designing new ones all the time. Sleep apnea is a booming business now. They are discovering that even normal people may have up to five episodes a night. It's the one who have severe apnea that need to get treatment of some kind.

ETA: Sleep apnea boosts your risk of death, study shows! Yet another reason to get tested if you have any symptoms. Using a CPAP device was found to reduce the patient's risk of dying.
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