I was simply uniformed and I guess lazy.........
See the below article on Sleep Apnea and Benzo use that I stumbled across today...........
1. Is it on track as to what the members here know?
2. When I am finished with the taper, I will never take another Benzo, it has caused many problems over the past 4 years.
PM me if you want URL's to Benzo information sites.
Sleep Apnea and Valium Use
Patients with severe sleep apnea are often tempted to use Valium or other benzodiazepines because it allows them to sleep through the apnic episodes without waking to consciousness. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that can affect the control of ventilation during sleep. The tranquilizer allows the person to think they received four hours of uninterrupted sleep, and they may even feel more refreshed upon awakening from such sleep. But that is only an illusion.
During the drugged sleep, the patient exerts considerable unconscious physical effort in overcoming the obstruction, eventually finally gasping and falling back into a deeper sleep until the next attempt at breathing occurs. This effort comes at a huge physiological price due to the lack of oxygen in the system during the effort. While the patient wakes after the effects of the drug feeling like he got some sleep, he really has suffered quite a bit of long-term damage.
It is axiomatic among physicians that benzodiazepines should NOT be given to patients with obstructive sleep apnea because of the long-term damage the prolonged apnic episodes cause. Long-term use of benzodiazepines in patients with sleep apnea causes elevated blood pressure, which may lead to stroke, heart attack and even early death.