Take the Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test. It takes less than a minute and there are only 8 questions.
I always thought myself as a Power Napper. Given a flat or reclined surface, I can start snoring in less than a minute — then wake up, on my own, in about 15, refreshed and energized. This skill has been the envy, or even amazement, for people who knew or witnessed; that is a symptom, not a skill.
Doctor explained that sleep quality can account for many modern life ailments. We have all been genetically programmed to survived, as if we are still hunters and gatherers. When poorly rested, the body entered the “preserve and storage” mode that lowers your metabolism and makes you hungry. Put it simply, you gain weight.
Gaining weight leads to hypertension, high glucose level, high cholesterol level, etc. These, in turn, trigger heart problems and social difficulties. Yes, it all began with not having a good night’s sleep. Clearly, I have not had that for decades.
I developed good coping mechanisms, such as power napping, pumping up adrenaline, consuming caffeine, etc. But I am losing the war against aging (aren’t we all).
Although losing weight can alleviate the symptoms, there is no cure for sleep apnea. Doctor said the first step is to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine: an apparatus that pumps air into your airway when you sleep. It took a bit getting used to, but I managed to fall asleep wearing a “nose pillow.” I was promised higher energy, better memory, acute cognizance, weight lost, and, of course, nirvana.
After two weeks, I found myself not needing to wake up and go to the bathroom anymore. I still doze off on the couch in the afternoon, but mostly out of boredom than tiredness. I now tended to exercise in the morning, instead of after dinner, for whatever reasons. If this CPAP therapy is working, the effects are subtle, as stated by the doctor. Sleep related ailments are difficult to diagnose and threat, since the patient cannot really tell what happened during his sleep.
One clear benefit is that I cannot snore while using the CPAP machine; the airway is kept open so the soft tissue cannot vibrate. Wife now has much better sleep quality. 🙂