829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm Only Sleeping (Finally)

It had gotten to the point where I was sleeping in the guestroom
 a few nights a week, or at least at the opposite end of the bed.
You guessed it:  I snore.  And not just cute
little snoring, but loud, obnoxious, walrus-like snoring.

And I can't hear myself snoring.  What's all the fuss about,
I wondered.  I'd get poked, nudged and yelled at every night. 
Roll over! she'd say, you're snoring! I've got advice for anyone
 in my position: Don't deny that you're snoring. 
It just makes it worse.  I'm not snoring!  Right, she said.  I just felt
 like waking you up. I was wide awake trying to get back to sleep!,
I would say.  Guess what, I did fall back to sleep.  And immediately
started snoring again, hence the elbow in my ribcage.

A lot of fun has been made of snoring over the years, and admittedly
 it is funny to hear. But it gets old very quickly.  The cause of snoring
 is the obstruction of air flow through your breathing passageway,
 thus creating vibration and noise.  Often, its cause is due to an
over-sized uvula, thick throat walls resulting in a narrower-than-usual
airway, and lying on one's back, which allows the tongue to settle in
the back of the throat. Guilty on all three counts, along with being
heavier than I should be, no doubt.  It was very firmly suggested to
me by the one with whom I share the bed to get a sleep test done
and fix this problem.  There was to be no more snoring for me.

A polysomnography is a sleep study during which sleep technicians
constantly monitor a patient with video, audio, and several different
sensors placed all over one's body to record heart rhythm,
blood-oxygen levels, and muscle, limb, and rapid-eye movements. 
And, with the addition of breathing apparatus such as a CPAP or
BiPAP, they can monitor breathing patterns.  From here, the sleep
doctor can mull over the data and come up with a treatment.

To make a long story a bit shorter, after the first of three $15,000
sleep studies performed on me (thank God for my wife's insurance),
 it was determined that I most-unmistakenly had very severe sleep
apnea.  In the 270 minutes of actual sleep I managed to get during 
over seven hours of lights-out (it didn't feel like even an hour), I had
racked up over 400 sleep disruptions.  This is where your body
realizes that it's not getting enough oxygen through your obstructed
airway, and makes a desperate GASP! to regain normal oxygen
levels.  This is the loud snort that usually awakens a loved one
or room mate.This lack of oxygen over the course of nights,
weeks, months, and even years takes its toll on body organs,
most notably the heart. It leaves the sufferer with an exhausted
feeling in the morning, more so than when he goes to bed. 
A nap in mid-afternoon needs only three minutes of eyes closed
in a comfortable chair in order to occur,
and stops at traffic lights can be hazardous at times.

When I wake up early in the morning
Lift my head, I'm still snoring

Once again, trying to make the long story less boring, I was
placed on a BiPAP machine, which stands for Bi-level
Positive Air Pressure. This machine blows plain air through one's
air passage at a certain pressure, and the pressure decreases by half
during exhalation.  This keeps the walls of those airways expanded
and free of vibration, virtually, or in my case, completely eliminating
snoring. What's more important, I don't have any disruptions due
to low oxygen levels and therefore I'm not placing my health at
risk. I've slept in my own bed for well over a month and have not
been poked, nudged, or falsely accused of snoring. 

Lying here and staring at the ceiling
Waiting for that sleepy feeling

Oh, and by the way, I've also had much less trouble falling asleep.
I do believe I'll go to bed now.......


  1. Please to hear the dog is not snoring any more. I never expected an entry in this group writing
    project on this subject!

  2. And to think we used to make fun of the polysomnography majors in college, thinking they just couldn't find anything useful to major in.

    I had no idea.

  3. BTW, Baydog, you could extend the usefulness of that BiPAP machine.

    Whenever a stressful moment arises during the day, just strap it on and hook it up to the portable nitrous oxide cylinder-- you'll be laughing!

    Problem? What problem. I feel fine

    Seriously, though, I couldn't be happier for you and your dear spouse. A new era of nocturnal domestic bliss dawns!

  4. Mojo: What's Nitrous Oxide? LOFL. The Wharfside restaurant and patio used to produce its own canned whipped cream with the use of large cannisters of Nitrous oxide and heavy whipping cream. The teenage help was in charge (no pun intended) of preparing the whipped cream cans for service. No further comment; your Aunt may be reading.

  5. I can see the improvement in your writing already, now that oxygen is getting to your brain. ;^)

    Seriously, must feel great to be able to sleep through the night. Your ribs should be healed in no time.

  6. First, Congrtats on your 25th anniversary (I have always regretted not making your wedding). Second that dish look "Absolutely Marvelous" and Third...and be honest when you put that thing on do you do a Darth Vader impersonation? I know I would ;-)


  7. baydog, glad to hear you've solved the sleeping/snoring problems. I used to work with a guy who claimed he had sleep apnea - he'd randomly fall asleep when someone was talking to him - did you do that?

  8. Wow, marvelous blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for?
    you made running a blog glance easy. The total look
    of your web site is magnificent, as smartly as the content!

    Feel free to surf to my blog post :: Enhance Penis Size

  9. Hi Baydog! It’s great that your sleeping condition has finally settled. Snoring can actually be hazardous to your health, since it might be disrupting your breathing during sleep. That could lead to complications to your heart, if not solved immediately. Anyway, all the best!

    Cynthia Bowers @ Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center