I was making small, stupid mistakes that could have been avoided. So I lay there, in the trundle bed, in the dark, my feet hanging over the edge. “Among older people who developed mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, those with untreated obstructed sleep breathing began to experience mental loss at an average age of 77, compared to age 90 for those without breathing problems.” Then there are the simple risks of just being tired all the time. One in four men over the age of 30 have some degree of sleep apnea. He’s the type of guy who, when he does something, loves to do it right the first time. If you’re tired at the end of the day, you know you’ve done something right. “I legitimately do not know how you are awake right now.” He went on to say that not only was I at risk of a heart attack or a stroke, if left untreated, this severe sleep apnea would make either or both events likely by the time I reach 40. “We need to get you started on treatment right away.” Contrary to what you might think, being overweight exacerbates sleep apnea, but losing weight won’t stop it. I could lose some, the doctor said, but ultimately, it won’t stop anything. I couldn’t make it to 2pm without having to actively fight off sleep. Higher risk of heart attacks and strokes come after that. Recent research suggests untreated sleep apnea in elderly people is associated with accelerated cognitive decline by a factor of 10 years. He was a hard worker – still is – and usually blamed that for his tiredness. Growing up I began to associate tiredness with accomplishment. I could tell in his eyes – still and narrowed – that he had no time for hyperbole. It’s expensive, invasive, and there’s no guarantee it could actually work.
Babbett Peterson thought there was nothing less sexy than her husband’s snoring — until he brought home the cure.
People with obstructive sleep apnea have a problem that causes their airways to collapse during sleep, cutting off breathing sometimes dozens — or even hundreds — of time a night.
Because they awake over and over, they’re never fully rested and often wind up with the chronic, life-threatening consequences of extended sleep deprivation.
High blood pressure, heart irregularities, headaches and memory problems are the lightest of the consequences. My father was diagnosed with sleep apnea during his 40s. My body was not regenerating as it should have been. And, I was surprised to learn, it’s 100% effective. But I should go to the CPAP retailer and buy a machine in the next few days.
Sleep apnea, when left untreated, is life threatening. Not only did I not even dip into REM sleep, I wasn’t even reaching stage four. CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask, connected to an electronic pump, every night when you go to sleep. The air basically pushes your throat open and forces air down your neck Not only should I do that, the doctor said. I would be reliant on a machine to not only sleep properly, but to regulate my health. Every day, I get a report showing all of these statistics, tallied into a score out of 100. As far as perpetual treatment goes, this is pretty easy. The doctor told me some people don’t like using the mask, so they take it off.
Whenever I travel, I have to keep my CPAP machine with me. Even 10 years ago, CPAP machines were fairly basic. There are moments in life when you suddenly discover a new horizon. Like those videos on You Tube where you see people switch on a hearing aid for the first time and listen to music. The first day I woke and felt like I could run a marathon. I worked a 10 hour day and felt like I could go for a long run. I could work long meetings without feeling the need to nod off. “Yeah, maybe I should.” “Can’t be bothered.” Snoring is a part of life. But you’re not just dealing with your lack of sleep, here. Your heart can only sustain so much strain for so long. When my son wakes up in, my wife usually brings him into bed with us.