Sleep Apnea

I guess sleep apnea is the new “in” thing to have. 

Bloggers Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum both say they have it.

Well, me too. I’ve been on a CPAP machine for about six months now, and I can report that sometimes it seems to help, other times, it doesn’t and the nasal pillows are a pain in the ass.

I’ve always had a problem with my nose stopping up when I lay down.  It still stops up, but blowing air into my nose at about 13 pounds per square inch seems to force enough air into my system to help prevent my brain from thinking that I’m strangling to death and sending signals that causes me to wake up just below the conscious threshold  hundreds of times a night.

That’s what my sleep test showed.  I woke up – but not consciously – hundreds of times an hour.  I got zero, nada, none, so-called REM sleep.  REM, or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is supposedly the sleep stage that one need to be in for at least three 90 minute sessions per night in order to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Some people are so sleepy that they fall asleep at traffic lights or while driving.  I’ve never had that sort of a problem, but most of the time I’ve felt very sleepy in the afternoon.  When the CPAP machine works, I don’t feel sleepy during the day at all.

I’m also fat.  Fat causes your windpipe – probably not the scientific name for it – to have a smaller inner diameter and when the throat muscles relax when you go to sleep, the windpipe collapses and air is cut off to your lungs.

This is where the CPAP machine comes in.  In my case, a  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device blows air up my nose at a pressure designed to prevent my airway from collapsing when I go to sleep.


At night I’m hooked up to the machine with a long plastic pipe and have this snorkel looking thing on stuck up my nose, secured by an plastic and elastic band around my head.

Breeze       <—- Not Me, but that’s the same gizmo I use.

I think it’s quite sexy.  Mrs. Curmudgeon doesn’t agree. The solid stream of air exhausting from the mask is not a real turn-on either.

One Response to “Sleep Apnea”

  1. Jack dawson Says:

    You might want to check out for your next cpap purchase. I bought my last one with them and they had really great prices. I as a little nervous about buying something so expensive online but it arrived in only 3 days.

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