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[Diagnosis] Undiagnosed but suspecting sleep apnea
#1
Hello my name is Josh, I'm 30 and have been have sleep problems for 10 years. I wake up sleepy and tired every day. I never get the restful sleep I got at the age of twenty. I'm wondering if anyone with diagnosed sleep apnea has had the same problems. In the beginning I would wake up after four hours of sleep and the only way I could get back to sleep was with melatonin. Then when the melatonin stopped working I used Tylenol pm. After some years of this I stopped using Tylenol pm and just dealt with it. My sleep improved to the point where I don't wake up after four hours but I remember waking up multiple times during the night and fall back asleep. I continue waking up in the morning sleepy and remain drowsy throughout the day needing coffee and nicotine to maintain alertness(started using both because of sleep problems). For most of the last ten years I could sleep in any position(back, both sides, and stomach). Gradually, I got to the point I couldn't sleep on my back(waking up gasping, or with sleep paralysis), then I couldn't sleep on my sides, and now the only position that provides any sleep is my stomach. I'm at my wits end and I'm terrified that one day I won't even be able to sleep on my stomach.

Symptoms: fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, lowered sex drive, high blood pressure, daytime drowsiness, an inability to focus, and increasing deficits in memory.

Can you do a sleep study on your stomach or not? It is literally impossible for me to fall asleep on my back regardless of how tired I am. Has anyone here had a similar experience to me?
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#2
Sounds like my story. I would set up a sleep study. At mine they had me start on my back and then I could sleep in whatever position is comfortable. Good luck on your journey.
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#3
The Guidelines mandate significant dx and especially titration portion supine in REM sleep. Josh, do whatever is necessary to comply. They will reposition you, if necessary, during the study.

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#4
Josh, depending on how good your insurance is, you should consider a home study or in lab sleep study. A diagnosis will go a long way towards whether treating sleep apnea is your path forward, or if you should look at other possible causes which can have similar symptoms. Sleep apnea is the most common and likely source of your problems.

A home sleep study can be done without requiring back sleeping, but having a test include supine sleeping is useful. Why do you have problems sleeping on your back? If you have a smartphone, there are apps that monitor your sleep that might help you immediately determine if SA is likely. The apps record movement, snoring and can give you a pretty good idea on what's going on. It's not a diagnosis, but might motivate you to move forward with a study.
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#5
(07-12-2015, 12:08 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: Why do you have problems sleeping on your back?

I can lay on my back for hours and not be able to fall asleep. I don't know what causes it, I don't have any back pain issues. Towards the end of my ability to sleep on my back I would wake up gasping for air, maybe its related to that. I think the reason I can only sleep on my stomach is the effect of gravity keeping my airway open enough to breath.
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#6
Hi Nursejosh,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more suggestions and answers to your questions and much success to you.
trish6hundred
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#7
If OP insists he can only sleep on his stomach he needs to alter his sleeping positions not only for an in-lab study but for CPAP use, as sleeping on one's stomach throughout the night may not lend itself well to wearing the mask.

And if his speculation that sleeping on stomach keeps his airway open (it probably is not nor does it matter), his airway will remain open while on xPAP at all positions at correct pressures.

I also would like to comment that people may have no recollection of sleeping on back when EEG at lab indicates otherwise.
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#8
I suspected that his inability to sleep on his back is related to the OSA, which is why I asked. This would seem to confirm that hypothesis.

Quote:Towards the end of my ability to sleep on my back I would wake up gasping for air, maybe its related to that.

I have similar problems falling to sleep without CPAP, and will wake myself up with loud snorts or gasps even if I'm sitting upright in a chair, but back sleeping is known to aggravate OSA.
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#9
some people elevate the head of their bed to help with that. Even though I use a machine, my doctor told me to sleep elevated too. I am not going to put boards or something under my head board because it seems as though it will bend the frame. I could disconnect the head board from the frame but I really don't want to do that.

At any rate, I sleep a little elevated with 2 pillows but I don't elevate a lot because it makes my neck sore. I am just the opposite. I used to sleep on my side and now I can't fall asleep when I am on my side. The only way I can sleep now is on my back and that is why I elevate.

You could try sleeping on your side again. That would help you a lot and you could sleep on a few pillows
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#10
Don't worry about being a stomach sleeper. Just get signed up right away for the sleep study. For me, it was a four month process so the sooner you can get on the docket, the better. A good sleep tech can help you get on your back for at least part of the night if you can sleep on your side.
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