Daily Archives: November 29, 2009

Sleep Apnea

Last year I started this blog after seeing in the doctor’s office that I weighed over 300 pounds.  I decided that I needed to do something about it, and would start working out and chronicle my journey on the web.  Being a writer and a pastor I knew would probably write about some other things too.

When I started working out last year I went hard for about a month and then just got worn out.  I saw some quick results.  I got stronger and lost a little weight, but I was so tired.  I worked out in the morning and would be wiped for the rest of the day.  I kept thinking that my energy surge would come, but it didn’t, and working out became difficult to do.  Then I got sick, Advent came, and I just had plenty of excuses to not go back.

In the meantime, I went and did a sleep study. It turned out that I had severe sleep apnea.  During my study I learned that over the course of an hour of sleep, I would stop breathing more than once a minute.  This lack of breathing while sleeping is not conducive to a good night’s rest.  It was a main reason why I was so tired all the time.  Before the study, I would 1. snore like you wouldn’t believe, thus keeping my wife up, and 2. wake up feeling like I needed more sleep.

After my study i was given a CPAP machine.  My Constant Positive Airway Pressure machine has changed my life.  I sleep so much better.  It took some getting used to, but I have gotten to the point now that I cannot sleep without it.  It turns out sleep apnea causes a lot more than snoring.  The stress it creates, combined with the lack of REM sleep can cause or increase the risk of  fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

I know that sleep apnea is often caused by being overweight, but once you have it, it can also cause obesity.  Losing weight is the most important factor in fighting this disorder, but losing weight becomes very difficult with it.

For the last month and a half I have been back in the gym.  I have gained a lot of strength.  I have lost no weight, and am heavier than I was last year at this time.  But I feel so much better.  I’ve actually gotten to the point that I crave working out.  If I go more than three days without going to the gym, I don’t like it.  I have started to make excuses to go instead of excuses to stay away.

I still have a long way to go, but I like the road I’m on.  It only happened because someone I know told me about his machine.  So now I’m telling you.  If you snore, if you wake up feeling like you need more sleep, if you need to take naps during the middle of the day, if any exercise wipes you out – it could be more than just being “out of shape.”  It could be a sign of a serious condition.  Get a sleep study.  Get a CPAP.  Get used to using it, because its worth it


Filed under Fitness