Last night I did my first ever sleep study.
For a few years now, I have snored loudly and not rested well. I really had no idea how bad it was until two years ago in Puerto Rico, my good friend and ZKC USA partner Thomas Lower slept with me (no, not quite like that) in the same room and asked if I knew I snored like Bigfoot. I laughed because I thought it was just because I was super tired, but in reality, it was a problem that I should have taken care of then.
Fast forward till now. After doing research and realizing that I probably had sleep apnea, I decided that I had to fork over the money to get this issue resolved. Sleep apnea can elevate blood pressure levels, cause hypertension and in extreme cases cause heart failure. At 38 years young, this was no time to mess around with my health. I want kids and a family and if I didn’t tackle this issue head on, my future family would suffer.
I checked in to San Antonio Sleep Centers at 9:30pm. A very friendly and professional man greeted me and let me in. I was escorted to my room and given a few forms to fill out. I paid the $700 and was then hooked up to a small machine. There were about 8-10 wires connected to me to monitor my breathing and twitching, as well as cameras that watched my movement throughout the night. I did what they called a split night study, where the first two hours I was monitored sleeping without a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to determine if I met the criteria for sleep apnea. Within two hours I was woken up and told that I was snoring so loud that he could hear me from outside my room. I was also told I stopped breathing multiple times throughout the night and was tossing and turning. All these things I already knew, but I was happy that I did them during the study as I knew that would facilitate treatment much quicker than had I not.
I had four hours left in my study and he immediately hooked me up to a CPAP machine. The mask fit over my mouth and nose, and blew air straight into my nose (you are supposed to keep your mouth closed). It was only slightly awkward at first, but within a few minutes I dozed off. Four hours later he woke me up and informed me that I never moved once, and did not snore. As tired as I still was after only four hours of sleep, I felt alert and rested. He said I probably had not gotten that quality of sleep in years, and I should notice the difference all day.
It’s almost noon now and I feel awesome. Hopefully soon I can be rocking my CPAP machine and getting 7-8 hours of high quality REM sleep every night. I feel that this is going to change my life in such a positive way that I am scared to see how much more awesome I will become. The purpose of this blog is to help you all understand that sleep is crucial to your everyday well being. If you have sleep issues or simply don’t rest enough, please DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
I put this off for far too long and paid the price over the past few years. I regret not doing this earlier and hopefully this is a wake up call to you all to not make the same mistake I did.