You would think that being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month would be enough. It's not. It is also Lung Health Awareness Month, and in a few years when the pink ladies can concede the floor, you all are welcome to duel it out for control of the month. But I haven't blogged about this because to be honest, I have a hard time seeing Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a lung disease. There is nothing wrong with my lungs. The problem is with my autonomic nervous system that relaxes my throat too much when I sleep and I strangulate 89 times in an hour. Yes, that is correct. Every 45 seconds I will have been without oxygen for the 10 seconds that it takes for my brain to signal my autonomic nervous system to release epinephrine and wake me up. In other words, not really sleeping at all. And in that time, if you are sleeping anywhere around me, I am probably keeping you awake at the same frequency. At the same time that the epinephrine is waking me up, it is also repeatedly raising my blood pressure and prolonging my QT interval. Not a good thing for a person with congenital LQTS and hypertension. But the most dangerous thing about the situation is that it lowers my oxygen saturation to 66%. Anything below 95% is critically low. My cardiologist wanted to know why I'm still alive. I was slowly killing myself with sleep or the lack thereof.
Here's the thing, if you snore it is more than a problem for the people around you. You are hurting yourself. I have not willingly slept with out a CPAP machine since the night that I was diagnosed. Since learning about the quality of sleep that is available with the machine, it is physically painful for me to sleep without it. And you aren't the problem, you aren't willingly keeping other people awake. You aren't causing this problem, but you can cure it and you will benefit the most for remedying it.