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General sleep apnea question
#1
Hi all, I haven't been sleeping normally for the past 10 years and it's been getting progressively worse over the past 5. I wake up about 30 times every night without any help from any supplements, change in sleeping habits, change in lifestyle, changing diet, etc. The thing is that I'm conscious of all my wake ups that are destructive to my sleep. So I have a simple question relating to sleep apnea. If I truly had sleep apnea, would I be conscious of all the wake ups or does sleep apnea primarily only cause destructive sleep wake ups that you are unaware of? I'm trying to determine if I truly have sleep apnea or an another underlying medical condition. Thanks.
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#2
My husband and I had the same situation as you. Waking up constantly, insomnia, tossing and turning, and for me, a steady stream of vivid dreaming where I remembered whole episodes of them. Our sleeplessness kept building up over many years, along with some new health issues. We both did a sleep study and have both been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

In my opinion, the fact that you're remembering your wake ups simply means that you're not ever going through the proper stages of sleep, especially REM. My doctor explained that I was just skimming into a new stage, then abruptly was pulled out due to my apnea, which is mostly central, caused by my brain forgetting to make me breathe during sleep. I was getting scared during the night, which I thought was due to psychological reasons or something, but it was only that I was constantly being starved for air and my body knew it.

You should see a doctor about this. Believe me, it won't get better on it's own, and will cause much damage along the way.

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#3
Have someone watch you, or record yourself sleeping. If you stop breathing and you brain has to jolt you awake you will know. I used a video camera some have talked of a cheap digital audio recorder. The last one used a phone app. Won't tell you everything but it might spook you into getting a sleep test. 10 years is long time to ignore a real problem and there can be real damage to our body if not corrected. You always used to hear of died in their sleep of natural causes, couldn't breath or heart attacks caused by long term sleep apnea.
Good Luck!

Doc J (despite my nickname I am not a doctor)

Remember to donate to the board if you can, it has helped a lot of people including myself.
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#4
Look to the symptoms poly... Waking up a lot in the night is one, especially if you're getting up a lot to go to the bathroom. Do you have trouble staying awake at times during the day? For instance have you noticed yourself falling into your scrambled eggs because you dozed off? Then there's the driving thing: Do you often sleep through the morning commute? How about the snoring thing? Do the local police come by often because your neighbors think some terrible gnarly monster is eating your house?

But the best way of course is to talk to your doc, and have a sleep test. So do that.
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#5
Hi cppoly,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
You should talk to your doc about these problems and ask about a sleep study.
Best of luck to you and hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#6
(10-26-2014, 09:15 AM)cppoly Wrote: If I truly had sleep apnea, would I be conscious of all the wake ups or does sleep apnea primarily only cause destructive sleep wake ups that you are unaware of? I'm trying to determine if I truly have sleep apnea or an another underlying medical condition. Thanks.

Yes and no.

Some apneacs wake up and remember choking. Some have nightmares about being suffocated. Some wake up and have no idea why. Some severe apneacs never consciously wake up and remember anything about it, and will tell you they never have breathing problems in their sleep. There are all ranges in between.

Without my CPAP, I tend to wake up choking as I doze off.

Do you have any of those symptoms? Do you snore? Have you got someone who sleeps with you who can comment on whether you stop breathing?

There's an "Epworth Sleepiness Scale" and some apnea questionnaires that might give you a clue.

You may simply need a sleep test.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#7
(10-27-2014, 12:45 PM)archangle Wrote: ...Yes and no.

Some apneacs wake up and remember choking. Some have nightmares about being suffocated. Some wake up and have no idea why. Some severe apneacs never consciously wake up and remember anything about it, and will tell you they never have breathing problems in their sleep. There are all ranges in between.

Do you have any of those symptoms? Do you snore? Have you got someone who sleeps with you who can comment on whether you stop breathing?

There's an "Epworth Sleepiness Scale" and some apnea questionnaires that might give you a clue.

You may simply need a sleep test.

I have to agree vigorously. It is not a problem to come here and get a prelim diagnosis opinion from us, but since this can be an indicator of SA, and it is definitely a sleep quality issue, I would want you to seek out a sleep professional for help, SA or not.

ENTs can do this, and nothing against ENTs, but what I did is went to ZocDoc and searched for someone with a background or fellowship in sleep medicine therapy, which may be an ENT, but is probably more likely a Neurologist.

ZocDoc can also filter by what plan you are on and by location, and will even allow you to schedule appointments and see the availabilities, and they will send you reminders by text and email.

While they are good at that, they are NOT GOOD at interfacing with the Dr.'s office; in my case they blew it three times, once with my Dentist, and once I arrived at the Sleep Doc to find no appointment (although ZD had sent me a text just before, "reminding" me). Another time they failed to cancel an appointment, so they have about a 70% success rate with me, and they need 99.999% to be taken seriously.

So I use their tools to find docs and even set appointments if it is outside normal office hours, but I find it important to then call the office directly to make sure that ZD let them in on the "secret plans" you made with ZD.

So I say don't wait; get this checked out. SA is 100% treatable, and the therapy is possibly annoying, but 100% painless, and definitely worth it, a real no-brainer.
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#8
Hi. My CPAP was set for 6.0. For no reason, its now at 5.0. what's wrong?
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#9
(10-27-2014, 02:28 PM)cgarbiano Wrote: Hi. My CPAP was set for 6.0. For no reason, its now at 5.0. what's wrong?

could be a few different reasons. Are you still dealing with compliance period? Do you have a modem on your machine that the RT/DME can do things remotely?

If you know how to and it is supposed to be at 6, you can change it back and watch for to see if it happens again? If you don't know how to change it, let us know and we can help with that. Also, What is your prescribed pressure?

I would recommend using software so you can watch what happens while you sleep. I don't know anything about your machine you have but sleepyhead works well with most machines. It would help us help you better if you give us more information about the machine you are using. If you have a brick, it won't serve you to download any software as you will only get compliance information.

I am sure you will get more ideas from other members.
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#10
(10-27-2014, 02:28 PM)cgarbiano Wrote: Hi. My CPAP was set for 6.0. For no reason, its now at 5.0. what's wrong?
Hi cgarbiano,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm not sure why your machine would change pressure, hang in there and someone will be along to help you, soon.
Best of luck to you with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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