The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Sleep Precious

on March 28, 2012

On October 14, 2011 I started sleeping.

Until then apparently I had been snoring and gasping and struggling to breathe all night long.  In fact my scores were so bad – approximately 126 apneas an hour – that the sleep clinic doctor commented that he’d never met someone with such terrible scores who was as cheerful and pleasant as I was.

Two things have happened since I started sleeping properly.  One I stopped having a near continual headache, which actually I only noticed the severity of when it was gone and two I’ve started to lose weight.  I haven’t stepped on a scale so I couldn’t tell you how much and frankly the goal of this blog is to not talk about calories and pounds lost and gained, but I can tell you that my clothes are fitting better and two skirts which I could do up, but barely move in in January now fit comfortably. I can also tell you that this is not some miracle cure all as I have been watching what I eat, but not so carefully as to be mistaken for dieting. . .anyone who saw me scarfing down chicken wings last week can attest to that.

From what I’ve been reading lately it appears that sleeping properly means that you feel more alert and more likely to be active during the day.  It also makes you feel less hungry.  I’m no expert and I’m not going to discuss hormones and which do what, I think you should get that information from the specialists, but I can tell you anecdotally that generally I feel less hungry and often I just cannot finish portions that previously would have been my first of two or three helpings.

I must admit though that I resisted getting tested for sleep apnea, and now feeling as good as I do, I wonder how much better off I would have been if I had gone for testing a few years ago.  Sadly my doctor never mentioned it and when I changed doctors last year, she didn’t mention it either.  It was only when the consistent prodding of a long time friend annoyed me enough to ask my doctor that she looked me up and down and said oh yeah I was a good candidate and sent me to a sleep lab.  For me I think the hang up was having to admit that I was not perfectly healthy and that I may have a chronic condition.  For some I think the thought of sleeping in a strange bed, with monitoring wires attached all over and someone watching you sleep is off putting.  Well suck it up buttercup – and get thee to a sleep clinic.

When I walked in to the sleep clinic the first time, pillow under my arm, Health card in hand the technician took one look at me and in her Eastern European accent said “oh yes you have a problem”.  She told me if she thought I was struggling she would put a CPAP mask on me and after two hours of what I thought was pretty good sleep she woke me up and said “I cannot bear to watch you suffer any longer.” She put the mask on me and after a couple minutes of getting used to it, I fell into the blackest, deepest sleep I have ever experienced.  When the tech woke me up five hours later, I felt high, like I could leap tall buildings, solve math problems and remain conscious all day long.  Superhuman feats indeed.

The biggest problem I had was that the sleep test was in August and my follow up appointment was in November.  The tech wrote urgent all over my paperwork the minute she saw me walk into the sleep lab, but I had to call politely and persistently to move the results appointment up.  I finally got it moved to October 14, 2011, but that six or so week wait was horrible.  I would wake up feeling worse than I had ever before because I now knew what good sleep felt like.  I would wake up and sit up in bed because lying down I felt like I was drowning.

I have not slept one night without my machine since that day.  True it can take a little getting used to and your partner will no doubt call you Darth Vader at least once, but compared to snoring, dry mouth, restless sleep, constant headaches, memory loss, irritability, attention deficit, depression and my all time favourite, dying in your sleep it ain’t half bad.

Oh and if you’d like to read about some studies looking at CPAP and weightloss, take a look here:

– the Goddess


3 responses to “Sleep Precious

  1. Hey, I am that annoying friend! Glad to know my natural gift for nagging finally came in handy.

  2. Booker Haskin says:

    There are many sleeping clinics in our area and i am glad that i can consult them for my sleeping problems. “.;:.

    My internet site

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