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Sleep Apnea

Over the last few months I have become increasingly aware that I am not very awake throughout the day. Those who know me also know I’m not the most quickly observant person at times. So probably a couple years late I notice that I tend to yawn a lot throughout the morning after getting 7 hours of sleep. I’m also aware that I snore quite heavily each and every night. I started wondering if I could possibly have sleep apnea, missing out on vital REM sleep throughout the night. I asked my wife to, if she were ever awake while I was sleeping, keep an eye/ear on me to determine if I stopped breathing during my sleep.

Unfortunately (for me), my wife tends to fall asleep before me. It is based on our personal tendencies, but I also think she learned early in our marriage that she needed to be sleeping before me in order to get to sleep before I begin sawing logs. This resulted in me forgetting about the situation for a time. Andrew Sullivan reminded me of my thoughts in November, as he is blogging lightly about his own struggle with sleep apnea. At this point I remembered I have some money burning a hole in my medical spending account; why not get the ball rolling?

I met with my family practice doctor this week and he has referred me to a specialist, who I am meeting on Monday. Right now my biggest concern is timing based on the financial aspect of medical spending accounts. In reality, though, I’m extremely hopeful that within a month I will have a CPAP machine that improves my quality of life to a great degree. Sleep apnea not only affects one’s day-to-day life, which is more than enough reason to get it figured out, but it can have long term effects like high blood pressure and increased heart problems. The only downside will be if I spend $300 or so (after insurance coverage) to find out I really don’t have a problem, which would be useful information as well.