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Just Diagnosed with sleep apnea, I stop 33 times an hour

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Just Diagnosed with sleep apnea, I stop 33 times an hour

Postby marcsanchez » Mon May 17, 2010 11:03 pm

So last week I was diagnosed with slep apnea, I stop breathing about 33 times an hour. Im a 33 year old male, and I recently lost 15lbs dieting to help my cholesteral. I was offered the cpap by my doctor but I told her I want to try and loose weight on my own first, she gave me 6mos to try then get retested. Now that I know I have it I am more sensative to realizing im tired. I wonder if ther eis anything I can do to help my sleep in the mean time while I work on the weight loss. I already use the breathe rite strips and they help a bit but I wore it during the sleep study and still stoped breathing 33 times per hour. I picked up onr of thoese contoured memory foam pillows and it's realy comfy but it does not help. I feel like if weight is the main cause than that's what i should aim to fix. Any advise is welcome....
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Re: Just Diagnosed with sleep apnea, I stop 33 times an hour

Postby Daniel » Tue May 18, 2010 9:47 am

marcsanchez wrote:So last week I was diagnosed with slep apnea, I stop breathing about 33 times an hour. Im a 33 year old male, and I recently lost 15lbs dieting to help my cholesteral. I was offered the cpap by my doctor but I told her I want to try and loose weight on my own first, she gave me 6mos to try then get retested. Now that I know I have it I am more sensative to realizing im tired. I wonder if ther eis anything I can do to help my sleep in the mean time while I work on the weight loss. I already use the breathe rite strips and they help a bit but I wore it during the sleep study and still stoped breathing 33 times per hour. I picked up onr of thoese contoured memory foam pillows and it's realy comfy but it does not help. I feel like if weight is the main cause than that's what i should aim to fix. Any advise is welcome....


If your AHI is 33, then you have severe sleep apnoea........and leaving it untreated, for another 6 months, is NOT a good idea. Losing weight during this period is NOT treating the condition.

Did your sleep doctor say that losing weight would clear up your apnoea ? Remember sleep apnoea isn't just about being tired........you are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke, not to mention possible damage to other main organs and the possibility of developing diabetes.

Sleep apnoea is a respiratory sleep disorder......stopping breathing 33 times an hour equates to the equivalent of being partially suffocated 33 times an hour. It requires mechanical intervention to control it........leaving it uncontrolled is a bad idea and will NOT help your overall health condition. Every time you have an apnoea event, your brain will ration the amount of available oxygen to your brain stem and starve other areas such as short term memory and cognitive function........it will also get your heart to beat faster to get more blood (carrying oxygen) to the brain. This increases the risk of stroke and puts additional pressure on your heart.

Every time you have an apnoea event (33 per hour), the micro awakening upsets/disrupts your sleep architecture......which leads to excessive daytime sleepiness.

If you drive or operate machinery, I suggest strongly that you stop immediately........particularly as you are experiencing tiredness. In the event of you causing a road traffic accident, remember you have been diagnosed with this condition and you can be held liable and possibly criminally negligent.

You have to realise that you have a potentially life threatening condition, you are a potential liability to other road users and workmates........you should get it treated ASAP.

Daniel.
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Postby jessy 49 » Tue May 18, 2010 9:53 am

Losing weight while you have untreated SA is difficult. Stopping breathing 33xperhour is severe apnea. Go back to your doc and tell him you've changed your mind and want to use cpap to help you lose the weight. When you are at a healthy weight, you can be re-tested to see if you still need cpap. In the meantime, as Daniel says, you will be treating your potentially life-threatening condition.
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Postby ShannonMB » Tue May 18, 2010 1:23 pm

I agree with these guys, you should get treated and not wait 6mos to lose weight. Not only is it unsafe to drive, putting yourself at risk for all sorts of complications, etc, but it just STINKS to have daytime sleepiness!!!

In my opinion, trying to lose weight while being physically and mentally exhausted all the time is very difficult. In fact, you're more likely to put on MORE weight because untreated sleep apnea affects not only your energy level, but also some appetite hormones that cause you to have cravings and whatnot when you are sleep deprived. Getting treated with CPAP will probably HELP you to lose weight (if you eat right and exercise along with it). Also, just a word to the wise here, sleep apnea is not only caused by being overweight, so don't be TOO surprised if even after weight loss you still need your CPAP.

It's very *nice* of your doctor to give you a 6 month try to lose the weight. But I don't think he/she is doing you any favors. If you really think about what your sleep is doing to your body, you won't be comfortable waiting that long to get it taken care of.
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Thanks for everyone's advise

Postby marcsanchez » Tue May 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Thanks for your advise, after reading your posts, and researching a bit more I decided to try the cpap for a bit, and see how it goes...
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Postby marcsanchez » Thu May 20, 2010 11:35 am

So now that i'm waiting for my second sleep study to fit me for a cpap, I find that I had an idea for the mean time to help me feel less tired. I f i sleep more I shoud feel better, so I think. I am going to get the cpap, but untill then I figured if I increase the amount of sleep time I should feel better. so the equation I came up with is if i stop breathing about 33 times an hour than per hour I probably only get a 1/2 hour of rest so i would have to double the recomended amount of sleep, while that's difficult maybee this weekend I can just to help a bit untill I get the cpap. any thaughts?
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Postby Daniel » Thu May 20, 2010 11:51 am

marcsanchez wrote:So now that i'm waiting for my second sleep study to fit me for a cpap, I find that I had an idea for the mean time to help me feel less tired. I f i sleep more I shoud feel better, so I think. I am going to get the cpap, but untill then I figured if I increase the amount of sleep time I should feel better. so the equation I came up with is if i stop breathing about 33 times an hour than per hour I probably only get a 1/2 hour of rest so i would have to double the recomended amount of sleep, while that's difficult maybee this weekend I can just to help a bit untill I get the cpap. any thaughts?


Sleep.........generally is about quality and structure, not quantity.

Sleep apnoea causes a disrupted sleep architecture (in effect the amount of time spent in each stage of sleep). Typically we need to spend 5% of sleep time in Stage N1, 55% in Stage N2 and 20% in Stage N3, with a further 20% in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. These percentages change as we get older.

Within overall Sleep Architecture we complete 4/6 sleep cycles (depending on time spent asleep). Within each cycle we spend a small amount of time in each stage of sleep......the progression through the stages is very important.............typically we progress from Stage N1 to N2 to N3, back to N2 and on to REM Sleep. The amount of time spent in REM Sleep lengthens with each cycle. Untreated apnoea causes micro awakenings or disruptions to our sleep architecture......so in effect, approx 33 times per hour your cycle is disrupted; this can be a full blown awakening (where you actually remember wakening up) or a micro awakening whereby your sleep stage is 'pushed back' one stage (eg apnoea event during Stage N3, pushes you back to N2). The most restorative/restful sleep is achieved in Stage N3..............many untreated apnoea sufferers fail to achieve this stage of sleep, or achieve a reduced amount of it.

I hope I haven't confused you ;-) ;-) ..........BUT, the longer you sleep, the more apnoea events you will have, your sleep will be disrupted and you will NOT achieve any more (relatively speaking) restful sleep.

In simple terms, it goes back to 'quality', and as long as your apnoea is untreated you will not get that quality.

Some sufferers have gained some relief by sleeping in a recliner, with your upper body in a raised position.

Sorry, I can't be of more help.

Daniel.
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Postby Dianne » Thu May 20, 2010 5:40 pm

Wow Marc,

I started reading your posts and hoped that you had changed your mind and started cpap. So glad that you're game. It could save your life.

Breathe Rite strips may slightly expand your nostrils, BUT they won't stop your tongue from falling into the back of your throat, (obstructive sleep apnea) and blocking your throat.

You're so wise to try a cpap. Welcome aboard.
Dianne's: Remstar Auto M, C-flex, smart card. Mask: Swift LT. AHI- 23, lowest blood ox 80%.

John's: Resmed S8 Autoset II w/EPR, Mask: Respironics Profile-lite
severe apnea, Cpap user for more than 20 years.
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Postby ShannonMB » Thu May 20, 2010 11:01 pm

Daniel did a great job explaining WHY extra sleep doesn't help you, but I just also wanted to chime in that before my treatment with CPAP started, it didn't matter HOW much I slept, I was the same level of exhaustion ALL the time! For example, I could go to bed at 10pm and then sleep till 10am on a day off. I'd set the alarm for 10am just so I wouldn't sleep ALL day. 3-4 hours later I could sleep another 3-4 hours. Then I could still even sneak one more nap in BEFORE going back to bed at 10pm again. Worst part of sleeping my whole life away was that I never felt any more rested, no matter HOW much I slept!

With CPAP (it's been just over 3 weeks \:D/), I've been sleeping about 7 hours per night and have no need for naps during the day. I literally have an extra 6 or 7 hours of awake time every day off work I have!!! You may not be as tired as I was, but I bet if you do have severe OSA, you will feel a LOT better once you start getting treated!

Best of luck to ya, darlin'! I hope your CPAP night at the lab is awesome!!!! ;-)
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