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Hi All!

Hope you are all well.

From February this year I have been having sleep issues and Daytime Sleepiness. I have been fine for 25 years until 1 day in February where I was waking up through-out the night and getting very tired during the day!

I am overweight, 17" neck and do snore heavily (although don't choke in my sleep).

I went to the doctor and he said I probably have sleep apnea and to lose some weight/quit smoking (which I have started doing!).

However, I am not convinced if my symptoms match. My 3 main things are:

Waking up in the night and;
Dreaming VERY vividly every single night.

I see that the first two are linked to apnea, but the third seems to be the opposite (apparently, your meant to not Dream with apnea).

This has gone on every single night for 3 months now and I am getting worried it could be Narcolepsy or something worse, although I have no Sleep Hallucinations, paralysis or cataplexy.

Could anyone give me any advice to whether it could be apnea and continue losing weight etc or should go back and ask for more tests?

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Hi mattyp,
Losing weight and quit smoking are very good goals, but some that lose the weight still have sleep apnea.

The only way to know for sure if your suffer from SA is to ask your doctor to order an overnight Sleep Test.
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, but it sounds as if you may have sleep apnea.

As far as dreaming, can't really give you a definite answer. I know myself, I had many dreams before being diagnosed, and now I dream occasionaly. Get your sleep test done, don't put it off.
Good luck.
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I think most people who ask this question end up with a positive diagnosis. Given how inexpensive a home sleep study is, it's probably worth doing for peace of mind. You have several risk factors and vivid dreaming is not an exclusion from apnea since being aroused (respiratory event related arousals) is one means by which dreams are memorable. So that one can work both ways, depending on whether you reach a dream state before the arousal, or if you never sleep deeply enough to dream. In any event, you need to find out if you have a problem, and whether it results in serious oxygen desaturation that may affect your overall health. It doesn't do any of us much good to guess, and you will need to obtain a diagnosis in order to get equipped and perhaps insurance reimbursement.
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Thanks for the replies guys!

I am from the UK - Can any of you recommend a home testing kit?
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As far as I know, all home sleep study equipment has to come from a doctor. The equipment is a little more complicated (and expensive) than what I think you are assuming. Also, it takes a doctor, or at least a nurse or someone trained on the equipment, to retrieve the data. Home sleep studies are just a high-level first pass look if there is a possibility of a person having SA. If a home sleep study comes back with indications of SA, then off to the sleep lab you will go.

One other SA symptom often not mentioned is the number of trips to the bathroom at night. If you need more that 1 or 2, than that is a red flag for SA to me.
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Hi matty. I would have expected your doctor to say "let's send you for a sleep study" after he/she said that you probably have sleep apnea, not tell you to lose weight.

I would go back to a doctor, and ask them to evaluate you for possibly having sleep apnea and say that you'd like to treat the sleep apnea if you have it.

The doctor really should at least look at your airway.

You can also fill out the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and give that to your doctor if it indicates that you have a problem. I say "if" because not everyone who has sleep apnea scores high on that scale. I'd say it gives false negatives.

You can also use a sleep monitoring app if you have a smartphone or other device that runs apps to record yourself while you're sleeping. If you do that for a few nights, it's possible that you may hear something to support the idea that you have sleep apnea.

If you have something other than sleep apnea going on, I'd think a sleep study could only help the chances of that being diagnosed.

The sudden onset that you experienced makes me wonder if it could be something else, as well. Or it could be "something else" plus sleep apnea.

A sleep study seems like the right next step. I hope that your doctor will send you to a hospital or sleep lab for a full sleep study. You may need to stress your symptoms more urgently.

If you have a partner or other person who can attest to what's going on with you, I would try to take them with you to a doctor's visit. It sounds like you're going to have to be a very squeaky wheel to get the care that you need.
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I slept wonderful until until a year ago. Came up suddenly and fiercely. I am 6'1" and only weigh 180 lbs. had the periods of vivid dreams, strange dreams and no dreams. Had no issues during the day, only horrible night problems.

Bottom line. Every one is different but the treatment is mostly similar and it solves the problem.

Good luck

CPAP is a journey like “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s a long slow journey. You will face many problems and pick up many friends along the way. Just because you reach the poppies, it doesn’t mean you are in Kansas. 
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(05-23-2016, 09:24 AM)mattyp Wrote: Thanks for the replies guys!

I am from the UK - Can any of you recommend a home testing kit?

I don't know how the referrals are done in UK, but in the U.S. you can get a referral from your physician for a clinical study, or home study depending on how insurance handles it. Those who self-finance can get a home sleep study, physician review and prescriptions using a DME supplier that provides those services like Supplier #30 (see supplier list). It's getting easier. I suspect in UK with public health, there might be some waiting.
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I live in Canada, so a similar public funded health system. When I finally admitted that I probably had sleep apnea, I did not want to wait six months another sleep study. I got my GP to scribble a prescription that said I had sleep apnea and would benefit from CPAP therapy. That kept The System happy. Then I went to a place that sells the machines and got them to put me on a one week APAP therapy to evaluate. As you may guess from my being here, I did indeed have sleep apnea.

If you want to try this, here are some places to start looking, courtesy of Google (I know nothing about them):

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Sleep apnea is often at it's worst during rapid eye movement sleep, and you are usually dreaming then. If your apnea causes you to wake up you will remember these dreams more vividly than if you had stayed asleep through the REM phase.

So I'd say that your experience is highly suggestive of sleep apnea being the cause of your problems. I put it at around 95% likely that you have it.

You need to find out for sure, and you need to find out quickly. If you do have it you need a positive airway pressure machine right away, don't wait until you lose weight because that usually doesn't cure apnea completely.

And sleep apnea kills.
Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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