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Feeling extremely exhausted and having apnea test in two weeks

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mikey2767 +0 points · 6 months ago Original Poster

Hi there, I'm new to the forum. My GP thinks it is possible I have sleep apnea and I am due a test on 16th of January with results on 17th of January. I've had really poor sleep for about a year now. It has gradually got worse to the extent that I can sleep for about 17 hours a night/day and only then feel quite awake. If I sleep any less than that, I can end up falling back asleep on the couch. This week I've been so exhausted that I've taken sick time off of work. Has anyone else had to do that ? I wondered if this type of fatigue is normal.

Having read some of the posts on the forum, some people's problems don't seem to be over when they are diagnosed have CPAP for treatment.

Looking forward to hearing from. Thanks - Mike.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Commentator

Hi Mike

You might be one of the lucky ones.

Time will tell but if you truly are sleeping for that duration it might be more than just Apnea that you are dealing with.

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Sierra +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Innovater

Hi Mike,

It does sound like you are a candidate for apnea. But, wait until you have your results. If you want to pass the time before your test, do a little on line research on the type of apnea and in particular central vs obstructive apnea. The standard apnea is obstructive and is quite treatable with a CPAP. Central apnea typically does not respond to pressure and can even get worse with the pressure from a CPAP. You may also want to do a bit of research on machines before hand, in case you get hit the day of your diagnosis with having to make a choice. For standard apnea I would suggest an Auto machine like the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet, or the DreamStation Auto. Both are good machines, but if you have a choice I think the AirSense is better. That is if you have any choice in the manner. If your test does indicate central apnea that is significant, you will want to have a long talk with your sleep specialist on the best way to treat it. Or, at least insist on a trial rather than outright purchase of a machine, just to see if a standard Auto CPAP will work for you. If the clinic offers a trial in any case that is a good idea. The hardest part about CPAP is getting a mask that is comfortable and seals. So if they offer any trials of masks take them up on it to find what works best for you.

There can be many reasons for poor sleep quality, and apnea is one of them. Your sleep test should tell you whether or not apnea could be a significant factor. So, do a little research on what AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index) is, and become familiar with with the severity classifications. Standard mild apnea can often be treated with a dental appliance instead of a CPAP. Some find that less intrusive. However it is quite expensive and your insurance may or may not pay for it.

Hope that helps some. Most important become informed as you can about what apnea is and what the options for treatment are so you are prepared ahead of time.

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mikey2767 +0 points · 6 months ago Original Poster

Thanks Sierra, that has given me a lot to think about and I will certainly take your advice about CPAP and AHI. This has been very useful. Can I ask, is it normal to sleep for so long with sleep apnea. My GP didn't seem surprised but wondered what others thought. Thanks.

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Sierra +0 points · 6 months ago Sleep Innovater

I think sleep patterns are highly individualistic, and the impact of sleep apnea also highly variable. My wife was diagnosed with an AHI of 80+. She was having a hard time getting what she considers enough sleep. Now with CPAP she still likes to get more than 8 hours, but she does it with an AHI of less than 1 on average. She thinks that CPAP has made a tremendous improvement in her sleep. On the other hand I was diagnosed with an AHI of 37. I was having no problem with sleeping, but did snore a lot, and while I had some excessive sleepiness symptoms, they were not really that bad. I suffer from some central apnea and struggle to get AHI under 2. I would say my daytime sleepiness has been reduced by a modest amount. My current objectives are to limit my sleeping to under 8 hours. I think trying to sleep too much reduces sleep quality. In short apnea seems to affect different people differently. You will learn a lot when you get your sleep study results as to where you stand with it.

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MountainGoat +0 points · 5 months ago

Did the doctor do any other blood tests before referring you for a sleep study? A friend of mine is a haematologist and in his opinion, more GPs should do a simple haematocrit blood test before referring people for a sleep study. It is relatively cheap and significantly less intrusive and way cheaper than an overnight sleep study. His view is that if someone's haematocrit and haemoglobin levels are well within the normal parameters, it is unlikely that they suffer from apnea significantly enough to cause noticeable issues.

Many other physiological and psychological problems can cause fatigue, poor sleep and the need or want to sleep long hours. I for example really struggled with fatigue until hypothyroidism was diagnosed and treated properly.

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sleeptech +0 points · 5 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

While I know nothing about haematology, I can tell you that such a test is not an approved way for testing for sleep apnoea. If it were reliable I would be surprised if I had not heard of it, because thousands of doctors and researchers all over the world have been looking for such a test for years. It sounds a little risky to not perform a sleep study on the basis of an untested... er... test.

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