I asked my doctor to get me a sleep study. Mostly because I had noticed waking up just not breathing. Not gasping or choking for air. Just like breathing-paused. And while I won’t admit to snoring I have woken myself up snoring. So, yeah, I snore. What concerned me was sleep apnea. Given I am over forty, my father has it, and it is comorbid with fibromyalgia. Not to mention allergies and asthma.
Unlike way back in the day with my first sleep test, this one was a take home sleep test. That is a massive improvement over the first one with its massive tangle of wires, uncomfortable hospital bed and trying to sleep like you are a puppet tangled up in its strings- at an hour you don’t even go to bed at.
So this one is this device you strap onto your head at night yourself, with prongs that go into the nose, and there you go. It has sensors to read sleep waves and volume to hear you snore, the prongs for your breathing. It is heavy, I will say that. It pressed down on my brow due to the weight. And because of the electrodes, as usual, I had a reaction to the adhesive that lasted a bit- which is typical.
They instruct you to try and sleep on your sides and back. And to get at least five hours sleep. Well, I am a stomach sleeper. And lately, I have been waking up and just not being able to get back to sleep until hours later so a five hour stretch is hard to do. But I did it. Just. However, I couldn’t get to sleep on my side. And certainly Not on my back. So I gave up on that whole idea after a while.
My sleep study results
I need to see one of their consultants in June, I guess for a more thorough analysis of my results but my doctor went through them with me.
I do have sleep apnea but it is very mild. Sleep apnea is where your breathing stops and starts while sleeping. So not cool. There are a few types but I have the most common of them- obstructive sleep apnea- which happens when the throat muscles relax
Symptoms of sleep apnea
- Episodes of not breathing during sleep- this can be reported by others
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up with dry mouth
- A headache in the morning
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
My doctor and I think it is due to my recent weight gain. That is due to the fact with my vertigo being as it is I have been very non-functional- unable to do essentially anything and certainly not exercise. But also not anything else. So not exactly burning calories here.
So I snore 47% of the night. 10% was loud but the rest was mild. And very little caused breathing disruptions at all.
What to do about it?
The best treatment we think is weight reduction. So I’ll be going back on some vertigo medication to hopefully allow for some functionality. She didn’t put me back on the level where I was actual function and actually doing things and exercising. So I am not sure what I will be able to accomplish on the minimal level of medication. We did play around with some other medications though so maybe that will help with weight loss. Who knows.
I read that quitting smoking is also good for sleep apnea. So I am making a plan for that. They also recommend not drinking. And I can’t drink with vertigo so already acing that one! Score! But the smoking is another factor I can control.
The third factor to consider for me are my allergies and asthma. I figure my asthma which has been not well managed for the last 2 years will improve if I quit smoking- so that will be resolved. And I can help the allergies with other measures depending on the season.