I appreciate Defcon5's responses on this post. Sleep apnea is a very real, and far more common, occurence than most people are willing to accept,
even in the medical community. It is only recently that this condition has been thoroughly studied within the medical community (say, within the past
25 years or so). Sleep Apnea leads to many other medical conditions, the most severe of which is probably Heart Disease/Heart Attack. The effect of
Sleep Apnea is essentially that of suffocation. Going without oxygen places a strain on your entire body, and nowhere moreso than on your heart.
Your heart is the only organ in your body that cannot ever rest (yes, of course, your brain is always doing something
, however people in a coma
can still live with their brains doing virtually nothing), and needs a constant oxygen supply to keep it working. The very nature of sleep apnea
causes this organ to be starved of the essential oxygen it needs on a semi-regular basis throughout the night, if you have sleep apnea.
However, just as Defcon5 will not presume to diagnose a condition over the internet, neither will I. If you experience ANY
of the following
(click on the "Who should be suspecting of having it?" link on the left hand side), I would
suggest you see a doctor. While sleep apnea may not be the cause, (I feel there is also such thing as an internal body-clock that may regulate these
sorts of things, moreso in some people than in others) I feel that if you experience any of the listed symptoms you may be at risk to damaging your
I think the possibility of a higher consciousness function (an internal clock mechanism) is a very real possibility, however it was mentioned that
people notice dark circles all the time under their eyes, which is a sign of fatigue, which sleep apnea can contribute to. While I would be
interested in a scientific explanation to this higher consciousness or internal clock mechanism, the real possibility of sleep apnea being the cause
is too great to ignore. I do not have sleep apnea, however my friend is currently going through the sleep study process. It took a long time for him
to be convinced of the possibility, and he finally, reluctantly, decided to have an initial sleep study done. He has yet to take his second sleep
study (where they actually prepare the sleep apnea helping 'C-PAP' machine), yet he has seen the results from his initial sleep study. During the
study, he did not reach REM sleep one single time.
I recommend, based on my experience with my friend, that if you even remotely feel that any one of the symptoms listed on the above website relate to
you, that you seriously consider seeing a doctor. While it is certainly possible that you may not have sleep apnea at all (that would be fantastic
for you), the alternative consequences are not worth the risk. This site www.doctorsforadults.com...
discusses again the
possible symptoms, however also defines the medical problems that can be traced to sleep apnea problems.
So in closing, if you think you might, talk to a doctor.
It may be an enlightening experience, whether you have it or not.
Just want to add, on the second site I listed above, it also lists 4-9% of middle aged males have sleep apnea, however a surprising 80-90% of all
sleep apnea goes undiagnosed!
[edit on 6/17/2005 by SimonColynAdrian]