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n00b trying to figure this stuff out
#1
Long story short, I'm 26 and have had various symptoms including brain fog, energy swings, mood swings, random aching, depression/anxiety (have been diagnosed), ADD/ADHD symptoms (have been diagnosed), high blood pressure and palpitations (even though I'm not overweight and in good shape), etc for about the last decade or so. I'm just not "on the ball", or quite as sharp and I feel I should be even though I have a good degree and a good career. I have a hard time recalling names and words occasionally and I generally seem to think a little bit slower than most people in terms of conversations, meetings, and such. It's almost like I'm using 80-90% of my brain capability instead of all 100%. I've been down the route of ADD treatments, depression/anxiety treatments, food allergy testing, nearing the end of a gluten-free trial now, and thyroid checks with nothing helping. I am on meds for my blood pressure and palpitations, but the symptoms were occurring before that.

I was chatting with a coworker and he mentioned his cpap machine and how it really helped him out a lot, which got me wondering if that's what my deal is. I've been told I snore 'a little bit' and occasionally, as I'm drifting off to sleep, I'll suddenly wake up and bit and take a deep breath as if my body is going 'oh crap - forgot to breathe again'. It doesn't happen terribly often that I remember, but I'd probably be asleep for it most of the time.

I got a bit curious to take an apnea test, but then I remembered every office I've been to has been a total rip off and was reminded how much I despise the whole practice of purchasing a service without even knowing what it will cost until a month afterwards and then you're stuck, so I'm avoiding them if at all possible. Plus, I figure I could buy a cpap machine and do some trial runs on my own for far cheaper than getting robbed at a clinic. Anyways, I just thought I'd drop a post on here to see what all of you experienced people think to see if I may be on the right track. Cheers!
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#2
Welcome Kcducttaper,

It's certainly possible that you have some form of sleep apnea, but hard to say without any official diagnostic having been done. You can certainly pickup a used machine setup in an attempt at self diagnostic, but if your insurance covers it you're probably best off getting a Home Sleep Study at the bare minimum which can measure multiple aspects of how you sleep without actually having you on a machine.

If you do decide to get a used machine in an attempt for self diagnostic I would recommend getting one that uses an SD card for recording data that can then be uploaded into SleepyHead or ResScan software for viewing. This will be the only real way of narrowing down your problem without the assistance of a proper sleep study.
CaseyF
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Organize Your SleepyHead Charts
Share SleepyHead ScreenShots via Imgur
Beginner's Guide To SleepyHead: By RobySue

Disclaimer: INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
Amateur opinion here...
Give your age and history, I would guess it more likely that if you have sleep apnea, it would be central sleep apnea.
That requires a night in a sleep lab to diagnose. Then, if found to be true, the machine type of choice for treatment is an ASV.
The ASV follows and intervenes on a breath by breath basis. YMMV
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
I do believe it is probably central because of the "oh yeah - forgot to breathe" moments. Occasionally, I've noticed myself taking super shallow breaths right as I'm on the edge of sleep too, which is probably a quite similar thing. I had thought to record myself sleeping just with a camera and a mic to see what that looks like. The difficulty would be capturing my breathing pattern as a mic doesn't pick that up very well unless it's a bigger gasp. An anemometer on my face with a simple parsable output would be perfect for calculating breath volume, duration, force, etc but I don't think they make those.
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#5
When in the transition from wake to/from sleep, there is a hand-off in the brain of breathing control.
While awake, you have some concussions conscious control over breathing -- example: You can hold your breath.
While sleeping, the "old brain" (the medulla) takes control; and is driven mainly by CO2 levels.

We call events in that transition period: "wake sleep" junk. Generally ignored in a lab test.
When that sleeping respiratory drive is "broken", then one sees central apnea.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
A pretty good alternative to installing a weather station on your face is to monitor oxygen saturation (SpO2). A number of wrist devices can do this and other fitness measures, and interface with your smartphone. What we're really concerned with is whether apnea causes a drop in blood oxygen levels that can be harmful to health or disrupt sleep.

It is fairly common to experience some central apnea during the transition from wakefulness to sleep, even in normal people. The brain hands off the task of respiration from a more conscious effort, to the autonomic brain function. A few missed breaths happen, and are not an indication of a problem. People on CPAP can experience this, and the data-recording CPAP machines will record clear-airway apnea events. We disregard these as insignificant, and call them "sleep-wake-junk". Having this happen to you during sleep transition does not mean you have central apnea, nor does it mean you don't have obstructive sleep apnea.

Home sleep apnea tests can determine if you have a problem, and are a good screening tool. Don't dismiss that as valuable, and don't take the comments above as anything but a guess. Based on your comments, snoring suggests obstructive. A sleep transition apnea is normal. How your feel, based on brain fog, fatigue and sleepiness is much more important than knowing the details at this point. If a home test is all you can afford, then do it. Supplier#30 offers sleep test and prescription services at a reasonable price. It would at least be a good screening to decide if this is something worth pursuing further.
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#7
A data recording pulse oximeter can identify if you are experiencing any oxygen desaturations/drops low enough to be causing a problem. If so, it provides data to help support getting a proper sleep study done.

If you take a week and track your sleep time plus your other symptoms every hour or two (the web has lots of free sleep diaries available to download), that also will help document the need to do the study.
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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#8
Hi kcducttaper,

WELCOME! to the forum.!
trish6hundred
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#9
Ok, so seems like my 'forgetting to breathe' moments as I'm falling asleep is pretty normal and not worth a second thought. Ultimately I'm trying to keep cost down as much as possible as I'm already sick of throwing time and money at these set of symptoms. I'll have to do some research on those home test things. Anything in particular I should look for as I'm thumbing through the marketing blabber? Recommendations (with some reasoning) would be appreciated as well. Just taking a quick peek at Amazon, I see a "CMS 50D+" for $35 that says it records pulse and Sp02 to upload to your computer for analysis and a couple verified purchasers have mentioned they've used it for cpap/apnea. .

[commercial link removed; instead, search Amazon for "CMS 50D+"]


(edit) At $35, I just went ahead and ordered it. Should be here in 2 days. What Sp02 level is considered significant when checking sleep apnea? My grandma has an instant reader and I was a solid 99 every time I put it on. I presume that will drop a little bit at night...?


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#10
Did some googling and seems like either a 4% deviation or 95% and above is considered "good". Sound about right? My finger tomb should be arriving on monday, so I'll start logging my results for a few days ans see what happens with that.
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