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

9 Comments

Filed under Fitness

9 responses to “Sleep Apnea

  1. SVW

    Most cases of sleep apnea are not caused by being overweight. Typically, the patient develops a mild case of sleep apnea first. The sleep apnea then causes the patient to gain weight. The additional weight commonly makes the sleep apnea worse. Then comes more weight gain and the apnea gets even worse. It’s a circle. Loss of muscle tone during the normal aging process also makes sleep apnea more severe.

    So what causes obstructive sleep apnea in the first place? Our modern diet has resulted in underdeveloped jaws. Our jaws are both narrow side to side and lack depth or mandibular advancement front to back. The tongue and soft palate are now crowded into the airway and when their muscles relax during sleep, they block the airway.

    Look at your friends and relatives and you will see many with underdeveloped jaws. Other indications of underdeveloped jaws are crowded teeth which require braces and wisdom teeth which require extraction because there is not enough room in the jaw.

  2. bronxcat

    You might want to get a scale that measures percent of body fat. Then you can tell if you are adding muscle (which weighs more than fat). Omron has a good one which is reasonably priced. I got mine at amazon.com.

  3. Diane

    My doc made me cut out all refined sugar, alcohol, fruit juice, red meat, and for the first month dairy. I was not overweight but had to be good to my cancer infested liver. In a couple weeks I had lost ten pounds, liver function was clearing up, and now I’ve learned that the cancer growth has slowed way down. Studies with fruit fries show that refined sugar feeds cancer, so I’m now off it for good. (Hooray for fruit flies, regardless of the politicians who make fun of them) I can’t substitute artificial sweeteners either so am using Stevia, a natural plant sweetener. Now I have to work at eating so I don’t lose any more weight. Funny how when the doc indicates that it’s switch your diet or die I can switch my diet and give up the chocolate and wine.

    I know several people with the sleep apnea. It’s not fun and the CPAP is hard to get used to at first. But it does help with rest so you can get back onto the softball field.

  4. Sleep apnea is a larger problem then people realize. By doing a sleep study, you are on a great track to staying healthy. CPAPs can seem to be a pain but the overall effect it amazing. Once you start to get good sleep, you will see a world of difference.

  5. Thanks for a very informative site. Appreciate the work you have put into it.

  6. SVW

    Well TFP, you have been spammed by “Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece”.

    I am in favor of mandibular advancement devices (MADs) for certain cases of obstructive sleep apnea. However, a potential user should educate himself very well before making a financial commitment. MADs are often not fully effective and leave the patient with unacceptable levels of apneas. Also, the website, Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece, has not fully stated the potential side effects of MADs.

    To repeat my message, make sure you are fully informed before making a commitment.

    Regards.

  7. Are you just comfortable with your CPAP machines?

  8. @BiPAP – Yes, I am very comfortable with my CPAP. It has helped my sleep tremendously.

  9. south African work Permit

    Cheers for well-researched content in your blog post Sleep Apnea | The Fat Pastor.
    .
    Thanks again…

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