Poor sleep has been a problem for at least thee years — ever since we moved into our new house. For a long time I attributed it to being in the new house with new noises. I thought it had to do with the increased air traffic overhead; but now I’ve come to recognize that there really isn’t that much air traffic after nine at night — and actually there really isn’t that much unless the weather is odd, in which case the approach to BWI is altered and the planes go right over our house.
I have also long attributed the sleep problems to the bed. Our bed is softer than I’d like. I”m sure the bed plays a part, but it is probably not the root of the problem. Another suspect, has been needing to go to the bathroom, but often I wake up and don’t have to go – so that seems to be out.
TKD has been concerned about sleep apnea – a relatively common condition where people actually stop breathing while they sleep. Until recently I have dismissed this as a possibility. A few weeks ago she asked me to talk to the doctor about it, and I did. As a result, I’ve got a sleep study tonight.
Even though I agreed to the sleep study, I remained skeptical that sleep apnea might be the problem. However, yesterday I looked over a brochure at the Wellness center in the office and was shocked to find that I answered 10 out of 12 questions with the word “yes”. According to the brochure, if you answer 3 or more questions with a “yes” you show symptoms of sleep apnea.
The one that scared me most, was “9.) I have noticed my heart pounding or beating irregularly during the night.” I’ve woken up on many occasions with my heart pounding. I’ve always thought it was from a dream – it usually happens after a dream – but now I’m wondering if I’ve actually stopped breathing at night.
The most common treatment is for you to wear a breathing mask at night – they look a little like gas masks – to keep your air passages open, and prevent you from not breathing.
I’m really hoping that it turns out that I don’t have sleep apnea — as you might expect. It will be a few weeks before the results of my sleep study are available.