In honor of today, April 18, 2013, now regarded as Sleep Apnea Awareness Day, I thought it would be appropriate to post a little something personal about the issue. A problem sleeper since I was 14 years old, I regularly stay up into the wee hours and have been lucky to function fully on as little as four hours of sleep. As I’ve gotten older, my sleep schedule hasn’t changed, but I no longer get right out of bed at first alarm and it takes at least 30 minutes for me to feel ‘aware’.
I thought the changes I’ve seen were due to aging, because let’s face it, EVERYTHING seems to be getting more difficult as I get older. I’m lucky to work with some very knowledgeable people in the sleep industry and I’ve gotten some great advice on how to improve my sleep, but perhaps there is something I’m overlooking.
After reading a story published by the Huffington Post today, I think maybe I should be heeding some less than obvious signs of sleep apnea! Perhaps being tested, diagnosed and treated with CPAP therapy is in my future…
“These changes are likely due to the fact that waking up hundreds of times every night — even briefly — takes away from your total hours of shut-eye.”
“While uncomfortable in their own right, frequent morning headaches could be a sign of something more serious. In a 2001 study, 67 percent of people being tested for sleep problems who often awoke with a headache were later diagnosed with sleep apnea.”
There is a lot of talk about healthcare reform and a shift in the method of testing and diagnosis in the sleep industry, but whether it’s home sleep testing (HST) or a visit to the lab, I’m all in!