I spent a few nights in the high dependency unit when I had my kidney out.
Drugged up to the eyeballs, the nurses constantly wake me up. In the end, I got a bit annoyed and asked them why they wouldn’t let me sleep?
They told me that while I was asleep, I stopped breathing.
The following morning when my consultant checked on my progress, he suggested I probably had sleep apnoea, and he referred me to the sleep clinic.
The Sleep Clinic
After several tests, I had to fill in a questionnaire. Then I was invited to spend a night in the sleep unit.
You turn up in the evening, get wired up to all kinds of monitors and go asleep.
I thought I’d slept great, but I have not one but two different types of sleep apnoea.
I was diagnosed with Central Sleep Apnoea, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement.
No wonder I was knackered all the time.
Interestingly, the common type of sleep apnoea is obstructive sleep apnoea. You can typically tell by the amount of snoring a person does.
While I have obstructive sleep apnoea, mine is mainly central sleep apnoea.
This is the one where your brain forgets to tell you to breathe.
My Sleep Apnoea Treatment
The best treatment to help people with sleep apnoea is a CPAP machine, and it forces air down your throat or up your nose. I’m a mouth breather, so I have to sleep with a full face mask which isn’t very comfortable.
To make sleep more bearable, I’m using a CPAP pillow. The pillow is designed with cutouts that prevent the mask from rubbing on my face.
Or, in my case, it stops the puffy bags under my eyes like this:
My CPAP Pillow
I’m using the Advanced CPAP Pillow for Side Sleepers.
However, the best treatment for me is to control my Heart Failure medication. I have no idea how that helps with central sleep apnoea, but it does?
I’ll be writing more about sleep apnoea in the coming months, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
In the meantime, if you’d like more information about sleep apnoea, I recommend visiting: