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My Experience With Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea apparently runs in my family. My father has it (and unfortunately refuses to seek treatment for it). My brother has it. And not surprisingly, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in early 2006.

I recently turned 40, and only in the last 6 months of my life have I been able to get proper sleep and rest.

Obstructive sleep apnea apparently runs in my family. My father has it (and unfortunately refuses to seek treatment for it). My brother has it. And not surprisingly, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in early 2006.

All of my life, no matter how much sleep I got, I never felt rested. As a teenager and even a young adult it was not uncommon for me to sleep 14 hours some days - and I still felt tired.

My family and friends thought I was lazy, and I began to believe them. Well, it turns out I wasn't lazy - I was sick. I have severe obstructive sleep apnea. I would stop breathing in my sleep about once per minute. This would wake me up sometimes hundreds of times during the night - even though I did not remember waking up. No wonder I was always tired.

My brother was the first to get fed up with it. He was sick of constantly feeling sleepy and tired, so he went to the doctor to seek treatment for his sleep apnea.

Following his lead, I went a few months later. It was the best thing either of us ever did. After completing a sleep study, I was prescribed to sleep with a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. This basically means that you sleep with a machine that blows air in your nose all night. :) Yes, I have to sleep attached to a machine.

Trust me when I tell you that it is worth it! It is a very small price to pay in return for getting to enjoy your life again without feeling tired constantly. If you even suspect that you have sleep apnea, my advice is to not let the fear of a sleep study or CPAP machine prevent you from getting treatment. You will quickly get used to sleeping with the CPAP machine.

It no longer bothers me at all. And the sleep study is no big deal at all. Since sleep apnea can be fatal in extreme cases, you might just save your life by getting treatment.

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