Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Journey of a thousand miles part 4: The sleep machine

Ok, so the doctor got my results back from the sleep study, and I have severe sleep apnea. For the uninformed, Sleep Apnea means you actually stop breathing for a short time during the night. For the average person without SA, you might stop breathing anywhere from 1-5 times during the night. Minor sleep apnea means you stop breathing more than five but no more than ten times during the night. My apnea numbers are into the 30's. That means I stop breathing 30 or more times during the night. Scary. Apparently, that level of Sleep Apnea also means that weight gain is not only expected, it really can't be avoided. When your sleep gets interrupted that often, you can't ever get to deep REM sleep where the brain actually shuts down and gets good rest. This also means that since the brain is always active to some degree, it causes your metabolism to store everything you eat as fat. Studies show severe sleep apnea can come with a weight gain of 30 plus pounds. Not pleasant.

So now I'm using a CPAP machine. Basically, it supplies a constant air pressure and forces me to keep breathing. This is supposed to make my sleep better and in theory, allow my brain to get the rest it needs so I can actually start losing weight. I'm hoping that with the combination of the upcoming surgery and the CPAP machine, my weight loss will become astronomical. Time will tell.


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