View Full Version : Sleep Apnea?

10-24-2006, 04:22 PM
Anybody have it? Anybody ever had a sleep study?

I'm doing one in a few days and am wondering what it will be like trying to sleep with all that stuff stuck to me in a strange place (though they say it will be set up like a hotel room).

I've got several symptoms that could be explained away by sleep apnea (high blood pressure and depression being the biggest). I started cycling when I figured out my blood pressure was high in June but it would sure be great if that turned out to be sleep issue. Heck, I hope I do have sleep apnea just to finally feel better!

10-24-2006, 04:37 PM
My girlfriend has (or probably has) sleep apnea. I'll wake up occasionally and listen to her breathe, and sometimes there are longish pauses.

She deals with depression and fatigue on a regular basis. Good luck to you, let us know how things turn out. Getting DGF to go to the doctor for/about anything is like pulling teeth.

10-24-2006, 04:44 PM
I thought I had sleep apnea and had the test. I was constantly tired, I woke up with headaches and sore throats, depression off and on, and I gained about 30 pounds in a year.

But I don't have sleep apnea.

If you regularly fall asleep while watching TV or a movie ... if you struggle to stay awake during meetings or mundane work stuff ... if you fall asleep at the drop of a hat, then you probably have it.

I had a very difficult time falling asleep during the test, not because of the wires (there are a lot of them, but they really weren't that bad), but because the bed was so hard. I'm a side sleeper, and my arm kept falling asleep because the bed was hard as a rock.

The fatigue for me is probably a combination of diet and not exercising (at the time). I've cut out caffeine as much as possible (a HUGE sacrifice, but I was drinking 3-4 sodas and maybe 1 cup of coffee to try to stay awake during the day, but then couldn't sleep at night). And now that I'm exercising my fatigue is much better.

10-24-2006, 04:45 PM
Oh, the fatigue can be awful. Today was an example for me. My sleep patterns are so screwed and sometimes I can sleep all night and sleep for hours during the day -- other times I don't get enough sleep at night and it's worse. Today I really should have ridden my bike but I was just so tired! I also was gone most of the day. But usually I would have been eager to work in a short ride at some point, anyway. Not today.

10-24-2006, 05:50 PM
I was scheduled to have one several years ago but cancelled it when I found out my out of pocket expensives were going to be over $500 (this was just for the study did not include machine, mask, etc). It turns out I suffered from hypothyroidism and the thyroid medicine has given me back my life.

My BF just completed a sleep study. He said he did not have any problems falling asleep (you must sleep 2 hours before they can determine if you have a sleep disorder). He said he did panic some when they woke him to fit him for a mask to begin the titration study (this takes approximately 4 hours). He picked his machine and mask up today.

Check with your insurance company as to how much they will pay and how much you must pay for the study, the machine, mask, etc. I am totally amazed at the expenses that one must face with this disorder. According to his policy he must rent the machine for 10 months at which time it becomes him. He must be compliant for 12 months, if not he must reimburse the insurance company all of the money they have contributed. After listening to him and his mom (she also has a sleep disorder) it appears that if one is not careful this could drain one's bank account rather quickly.

It also appears that some adjust fairly quickly to the machine while others fight it tooth and nail for quite some time. It does, however, appear that regardless of how one adjust to the machine their overal health does improve. I think like anything it takes time for your body to "heal" itself and feel normal after being deprived of sleep for an extended period of time.

The upkeep of the machine also appears to be pretty detailed - you must clean it daily with vinegar, the hose must be cleaned and dried daily, the mask must be washed and dried, etc. You have to use "gentle" soaps to clean the hose, your face, mask, etc. You can only use distilled water in the humidifier. You may experience dry eyes, a sore throat, gas, etc from using the machine, etc so be prepared. I've been visiting a site/forum -http://cpaptalk.com/ - that he has been reading to get a better handle on what he is going to experience from this point forward. You might want to take a look and maybe join so that you can learn about what to expect, the machines, mask, maintenance, etc.

I wish you the very best and I hope you sleep study goes well.

10-24-2006, 06:05 PM
Anybody have it? Anybody ever had a sleep study?

Newbie here .. tho I have been lurking for a bit. Figured this was as good a place as any to start.

My g/f recently went through the whole sleep study thing too. She was always tired, woke up with awful headaches, had trouble finding the right words during conversations and had vivid dreams the instant she feel asleep. She could also recall all the dream details.

She finally gave in and went to the doctor. While filling out the paperwork we were amazed at how many of those little boxes (symptoms) she checked off.

Turns out she does have sleep apnea and is now on a machine that has changed her life. At first she was certain she couldn't live with that much "equipment" bedside ... but it's truly changed her life.

Now she's certain she couldn't live without it.

Her quality of life has dramatically improved. Her memory is back, her headaches stopped and she can wake up and not recall a single thing about her dreams!

If you think you might have apnea, go and do the study. You'll be glad you did.


10-24-2006, 07:12 PM
We were convinced that my DH had sleep apnea. All the symptoms were there. What concerned us most was that he would wake up at night due to being unable to breathe and literally gasp for air for what seemed like minutes ( it was most likely only seconds...LONG seconds). He's not depressed but his job does cause a large amount of stress.

Turns out its not sleep apnea. And tho its not yet confirmed, it would appear it may be due to acid reflux......

10-25-2006, 03:28 AM
Pooks, please post how it went. I'm supposed to do one, but haven't gone yet. I'm constantly tired and snore like a freight train (I'm told).

10-25-2006, 04:24 AM
$500 out of pocket? Was it not covered at all? The entire test only cost $500 and then the doctor's fee was $210. Luckily, I have excellent insurance.

10-25-2006, 09:03 AM
Well, this sleep study will cost $1,000 and our part is $100, so there ya go. I have no idea about the machines and such. I guess I'll get to that if I need to.

My friend's husband got his machine and she said she had to go sleep in a different room, it made so much noise. Then she said that the next morning he woke up looking ten years younger, with lots of energy, smiling and laughing so much she wanted to slap him. :D

I assume she got used to it, because she hasn't mentioned sleeping in separate rooms again. One family we camp with has one of those machines going all night for the dad. They usually camp a little farther away from us, so we don't hear it. I wonder if I'll have one of my own when we camp in November!

If the bed is hard (I'm trying to reply to everything in one post) it must not be THAT much like a hotel room! I think it's interesting to know that they only need to see you sleep a few hours at a time. I figured if they didn't monitor an entire night's sleep they might not be able to tell. Very interesting!

10-25-2006, 03:07 PM
My friend's husband got his machine and she said she had to go sleep in a different room, it made so much noise. Then she said that the next morning he woke up looking ten years younger, with lots of energy, smiling and laughing so much she wanted to slap him. :D

I assume she got used to it, because she hasn't mentioned sleeping in separate rooms again. One family we camp with has one of those machines going all night for the dad. They usually camp a little farther away from us, so we don't hear it. I wonder if I'll have one of my own when we camp in November!

How long ago was that? My g/f's machine is very quiet, creating only a little white noise (like a small fan), and it's really very relaxing and calming.

But even if it was noisy, the toll apnea takes on your health would make it worth getting used to. Distrupted sleep stresses everything from your heart and kidneys to your eyes (she had to have her contact prescription adjusted b/c her vision improved with the breathing machine).

Good Luck with the test and be sure to update us with the results.


10-25-2006, 06:52 PM
$500 out of pocket? Was it not covered at all? The entire test only cost $500 and then the doctor's fee was $210. Luckily, I have excellent insurance.

Sadly, I was going to incur some very high out of pocket expenses to have the sleep study conducted. I was a new teacher with very little in the way of money and I decided that spending $500 on a test was a bit too much for my checking account.

I was a bit dubious going into this given the internal med doc I was seeing at the time was jumping all over the place as he tried to decide why I was so tired. First, I got "you are a woman therefore you must be depressed," then I got "you are a woman and therefore depressed," needless to say I had little faith in this guy. After meeting with the sleep disorder doc I was even more dubious about the study and felt these two had some kind of buddy system thing going. It concerned me that no one in the sleep doctor's office could tell me how much, even a ball park figure, I should expect to have to pay. It bothered me that when I met with the sleep doc he told me if the sleep study did not give him the numbers he wanted he would order a whole new serious of test to rule out narcolepsy (I literally saw $$$ flashing in his eyes), it bothered me he cut my consult short because he had something else to do. After my short visit I was left wondering what kind of expensive boat he had docked on the river, for I felt I was paying for it. After a lot of questioning I was finally able to get the insurance codes out of the sleep center and talked to my insurance company regarding what I should expect to pay. The out of pocket expensives were far too much for my checking account (I had to meet a deductible first before they kicked in any money). The icing on the cake was when I received a bill for "out patient" services, dated for the day I talked to the sleep doctor. It seem using the elevator to get to the sleep doc's office, located in the hospital's basement, constituted being an out-patient. I fought this one for quite some time but in the end had to pay the bill (they got $5.00 for several months to cover my brief talk with the doctor).

In the end, after much research and finally finding a wonderful endocrinologist I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (runs in my family). Two weeks after starting my thyroid medication I felt like I was getting my life back and well on the road to resuming my life. I glad I listened to that little voice in my head, I'm glad I found my endocrinologist (he is a wonderful man) and I'm glad I walked out on the internal medicine doctor with the parting words "I'm out of here and I won't be back!"

10-30-2006, 10:10 AM
Ok, this is my first post so we'll see how it goes!

I was diagnosed back in fall of '02! When I had my sleep study done, they didn't do the titration at that point, they made me come back for a second test. I'm pretty sure they stopped that practice (at that lab at least) after my doctor got off the phone with them. I averaged 120+ event / hour, and they weren't sure if I had it???? Anyway, I had never heard my doctor cuss before that and well, let's just say that I heard the whole converstion (he saw the letter and picked up the phone before saying anything to me). Needless to say the second test was free, after HE threatened to sue them if anything happened to me in the mean time from the sleep apnea, since they didn't do the titration that night.

Anyway, I've been on CPAP since then, and HATE going without it. I went tent camping last weekend, and ended up sleeping without it Saturday night, and all I want to do still today is go crawl into bed, and that's with sleeping for 9+ hours last night!

As far as the noise, I travel quite a bit for work, and have never had a complaint from a co-worker. My family complains when they have to sleep without the noise if we're in a hotel or soemthing like that. Last year on vacation my son tried to convice me to go to bed early so the noise would be there so he could sleep better! I think at first it's different, but it really is pretty quiet to others around you.

My best advice is if you have it, treat it! Don't be afraid to look for what works best for you as far as masks, etc go. I would suggest setting up a flex spending account with your employer if you can, that way you won't have to pay income taxes on that money (I've figured out that this year, between Rx's and CPAP, I've saved over $400 by using flex). Try hitting websites, one of my favorites is (just google this) cpapplus. Check with your insurance company though, as they may not let you order on-line. However, if they will, it will save you TONS of $$$$. I've found with mine that I can pay the druable medical people here, or buy on-line. By the time that it goes through insurance at the DME, my 20% is the same cost as what I would have paid to buy on-line!

Anyway, I think that's it. If you have questions, feel free to ask away, I'm not shy about this, and am a big fan of treating it!

10-30-2006, 12:17 PM
My DH has sleep apnea. He had a sleep study done last year and it was found that he has the 'obstructive' type of the disorder. He does sleep with a CPAP machine each and every night, I make sure of it. He is so much of a different person if he doesn't use it! In the year that he has been on it, his enegry has skyrocketed, he has come off high blood pressure pills, lost sixty-two pounds, and his cholesterol numbers have dropped into the normal range, all because he is finally getting restful, restorative sleep. Yes, the machine makes noise at night, but I haven't found it to be obtrusive. In fact, it is more like white noise and puts me to sleep faster than anything! The care of the machine isn't all that bad. DH will clean the hose, mask and water chamber with white vinegar once a week and hasn't had any problems yet.

Pooks, I wish you well and hope you find what ails you!

10-30-2006, 12:24 PM
My BF obtained his machine/mask last week and is already noticing a difference. His machine is very quiet and I found the noise it emitted to be rather soothing. I did tell him this morning he sounded like a distant tea pot that was ready for his mask was emitting a gentle whistle throughout the night, seems his mask was leaking. My kittens, Twister and Penelope, were quite intrigued by the machine and mask and took turns throughout the night inspecting it from various angles.

10-30-2006, 12:47 PM
My dad has sleep apnea & my mom says the mask is way more soothing than his snoring ever was. When I stay over, my room is next to theirs & I never hear the thing.

My dogs run in fear when they see my dad in that mask. Porter has actually hopped on bed, seen my dad, barked psychotically, & ran UNDER the bed!!:D

10-30-2006, 08:00 PM
Oh, I do love my Cpap machine! I've been using it faithfully for 3-4 years now and I sleep like the dead as soon as I turn it on. It was well worth the hassle of the sleep study and all the hoops to be jumped through for the insurance and all the out of pocket costs. I'm not too keen on housekeeping, but it's also worth the trouble of keeping the darn thing clean. I experienced the aforementioned insomnia, depression and high blood pressure, but also experienced memory loss to the point that I thought I was sliding into dementia! I couldn't function on many disturbing levels and the doctor even laughed (?!) and said I shouldn't even be driving. The Cpap machine turned that all around and I began feeling like a woman closer to my age, not like an 80 year old. My memory problems improved to the point that I was inspired to return to school and complete my degree.

10-31-2006, 02:41 PM
I agree. I was diagnosed in June this year... after 14 years of shocking sleep. Now that i know about it i wonder why it took so long for someone to think of it!!

The sleep studies arent the greatest thing to go through, but if you have sleep apnea, finding out and hooking yourself up to a CPAP machine is like being re-born :D :D

I used to sleep every sat and sun arvo cos i was just so tired i couldnt stay awake. I felt so lazy and worried DH would think i was the laziest person around. I never studied at home, cos i knew i would lie down and sleep in the afternoon cos i was always so tired.

I havent looked back since. It has made a huge difference to my life. I can concentrate and think :eek: :D :eek: this has been a big bonus cos i'm studying :o

I just cant tell you how good it is not have to struggle to keep my eyes open, not to struggle with falling asleep in meetings, and to feel like i have energy :D

10-31-2006, 05:30 PM
Pooks, did you have the study yet?

11-01-2006, 06:09 AM
you know, offthegrid, if you couldn't really sleep during your sleep study, then that would make the results of the test suspect. I had trouble falling asleep during the sleep study because I had decided that not having coffee the day before would make it easier to fall asleep. WRONG! I had withdrawl symptoms--head and body ache that kept me awake. My doctor threw the results away and sent me home with a diagnostic cpap machine which I wore to sleep for the next week or two. Not only did it provide sweet, sweet relief for the problem, but it could measure how many times my breathing was obstructed during the night (something like 80 times a minute!) and provided a comparison of how long I was able to sleep with c-pap against the sleep journal I had been keeping. It was hell, though, when I had to take that machine back and then endure two weeks without it while waiting for the results to be analysed and various appointments to be made