Skip to content

Can’t a guy get a little sleep?

May 16, 2008

Regular readers probably know that I’ve been working hard on my health this year. I’ve shared a few times regarding my weight loss and some of my goals. However, that is only part of it. Good health is always more than a single issue topic. In my case, it isn’t just weight. In my case, I have other stuff to deal with.

On Mother’s Day, I finally spent the time and money to participate in a sleep examination. Specifically, I participated in an examination/study for Sleep Apnea. With sleep apnea, your airway gets restricted and you essentially stop breathing. Eventually, your body reacts and forces you to breath. In the process though, you end up not sleeping very well. In some cases, you wake yourself up. In severe cases you rarely go into REM sleep. Over the long haul, your body takes a beating. You don’t feel rested. Sleep apnea puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.

Some of my friends know very well that I have sleep issues. My wife knows all too well. I’ve rarely been able to watch a whole movie without falling asleep. Snoring. Blow hole (That’s the sound I make when I eventually start breathing again). Some of my coworkers that travel with me get a kick out of me falling asleep (still in my cloths) at the end of a day or in the middle of an airplane take off. My kids know it because I can’t finish reading a kids book without falling asleep. I often fall asleep during night time prayers too.

All in all, it is tough to know the severity of my case. I’ve done OK and have found ways to keep my energy high. That said, by Friday evening, I simply can’t stay awake. Something has to change. My driving motivation is that I want to be able to read to my kids and watch a whole movie with my wife and/or kids.

So….I got help. After meeting with a cardiologist, I filled out some paperwork and got scheduled for the study. It was sort of a crazy experience. You get hooked up to a lot of equipment. You sleep with just about every body function and brain wave being monitored. You are also under 24 hour video surveillance. All this takes place in an uncomfortable and sterile environment. Not exactly the recipe for good sleep.

This picture shows some of the equipment. It does not show the 2 different sensors they stuck up my nose to measure temperature, pressure and humidity. Looks easy enough to get a good night sleep doesn’t it?

I was afraid to see this picture. Look, I still have some hair up there!

Depending on the results of the evening, you could end up staying for an all day nap study. Lucky me, the Dr wanted me to stay. Who knew naps would be exhausting? I took 5 naps at specific 2 hour intervals. As soon as you fall asleep, they wake you up and ask you questions. I didn’t ask what this part was for until the end of the study because my analytical mind would likely give me the energy needed to think too much about it and ruin the results. The nap test was to measure degree of sleepiness. I ended up getting home for dinner that night and I was completely exhausted.

I’ll be meeting with the Dr later this month to review results, ask questions and see if there is a good treatment program. Who knows? I’m just excited to get some answers.

So…why am I sharing this? Well, I’m encouraging everyone to find a way to deal with the things they’ve been putting off, especially if it involves your well being. It’s hard and at times scary. Next up for me, the dentist!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Guitar Ted permalink
    May 16, 2008 9:17 pm

    Ahh! Now I get it. (In reference to our earlier phone conversation)

    Okay…..that isn’t funny. I appologize.

    I just want to say two things: Good on you for dropping the pride and getting this looked into. Second: Good on you for encouraging us to do the same with our issues.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. Jason permalink
    May 16, 2008 11:26 pm

    Jesus, you look like C3-PO from Star Wars. That must have been a bitch. Good luck and sleep well.

  3. May 17, 2008 4:04 am

    First off, let me say that I deeply sympathize with you in you quest to find a solution to the sleep apnea. You are not the first person in the bicycle industry that I’ve known to have battled with this, believe it or not. I admire your voracity in dealing with it… You’re doing with it what you do with everything you seek to overcome. You’re succeeding.

    Sweet dreams my friend. Thanks for everything.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: