Some of my regular readers- maybe all three of you- may have noticed an increase in my posting the last couple months. I've hesitated writing about what's going on because I've written too much about my health problems the last couple years, and I also wanted to wait and see if the change is real. It is.
I have sleep apnea, and probably have had for a few years. I never got tested, partially because many of the symptoms could also have been caused by other, known health problems I had. But as they were eliminated one by one and the symptoms continued, I finally listened to Ginger and got myself tested. Not only did I have apnea, i had a severe case- they got me a CPAP machine the same day.
The difference is amazing. Now I sleep when i sleep- real REM sleep, too, complete with dreams. When I wake up, I'm actually awake- no more staggering around with "the stares" for an hour or two until I've gotten a pot of coffee under my belt. Oh, there are side benefits- like that "not dying early" thing- but the way I feel in the morning alone is worth more than I can tell. Compared to the way I felt before using the CPAP machine, it's like being on crystal meth, except without the psychosis and damaged internal organs.
So if you have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, get yourself tested. It is real, and the consequences are severe. I quote from The American Sleep Apnea Association website: "Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes." Many doctors say that warning isn't worded strongly enough.
Get yourself tested.