Sleep apnea - which sleep study to take?
I posted this thread back in November about my health issues that stem from my sleep problems, and I have finally managed to save up enough for a sleep study since finding a job and trying out different adrenal aids a few months ago. This is coming from a skinny-ass, 60KG, 5'11" guy who has tried all kinds of sleep tips and has found small improvements. Since that thread, my sinuses have improved somewhat and I feel less run-down overall, thankfully, but I'm still not getting the high-quality sleep I need to be truly well again.
I just wanted to task any sleep apnea sufferers here a couple of questions about their diagnosis:
1. Are home sleep studies reliable? Finding a sleep lab is too costly at the moment.
2. I'm planning to order the study from this site, which states that having a BMI under 45 warrants the more expensive Multi-Channel Respiratory Study. Why can't I have the Finger Pulse Oximetry Test instead? I find it odd because from my knowledge, weight doesn't effect the outcome of the test. That could just be my ignorance, though.
I am curious, you state you've had small improvements. What seems to have helped? You listed a lot of supplements in the last thread and I wonder if you have determined which, if any, have made a difference for you. 5-HTP stands out for me, I wonder if you are experiencing less depression and have tried changing the dose or considered an alternate supplement (I just switched to L-Tryptophan and it's working much better for me, St. Johns Wort and SAM-e are other options).
I most likely have sleep apnea, but have never been formerly diagnosed (confirmed with a sleep study, because they are expensive). My doctor said it was highly likely I have sleep apnea, despite being a low/normal weight for my height all my life, because I very occasionally wake up to catch my breath when sleeping on my back, and am somewhat congested all year round (mold allergies are likely the culprit there).
I am also curious how your clarity of breathing (congestion) is now.
For my supplements, the only ones I continued to take from that particular list were Magnesium Citrate and Vitamin D. My depression has lifted significantly over these months and I no longer need to take any of the other supplements. I believe that Zinc definitely helped with my skin and 5-HTP helped initially with my sleep, but once I ran out I no longer felt the need to take more. This doesn't mean my sleep is great, by any means, but I'm making small steps to get there.
After re-reading plenty of Adrenal Fatigue articles and books, it turns out that Potassium is not recommended during recovery because most (if not all) people with AF require a higher intake in Sodium. When I added salt to my meals, I found that fluid retention was better and I was less thirsty throughout the day; it's a big help and so easy to incorporate into your diet and I never go a day without it!
The Melatonin, strangely enough, seemed to have made my sleep worse. I woke up feeling even groggier the next morning (didn't know that was possible), and it took me longer to shake that off. I gave it about a week of full use, and another week on-and-off to see if it was really the Melatonin or just a coincidence, but I felt noticeably better without it. Strict sleep habits are usually adequate for me to get to bed and wake up on time, even if I don't feel refreshed upon waking. It may have been my dosage (I think it was 1mg?) or just my reaction to it, but plenty of other people sing praises to this thing. I wouldn't knock it, but I wouldn't rely on it as a quick-fix, either.
I used up my Vitamin C w/ Rose Hips rather quickly before realising that the most optimal Ascorbic Acid : Bioflavanoids ratio is 2:1. Ie. 500mg of Ascorbic Acid should provide you with 250mg of Bioflavanoids. I take roughly 7 grams a day -- sometimes more, sometimes less -- and find that I don't feel as run-down as I used to. I still have sinus problems and feel sick all the time, but it takes the edge off without making me jittery.
I didn't find much benefit with the rest of the supplements. Right now I take:
- Vitamins B, C, D, E
- Magnesium Citrate
- Calcium Citrate
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Adrenal Extract
I started the Adrenal Cortex about 4 days ago and I feel noticeably less fatigued. It has increased my libido, increased my energy (not much, but any boost is a welcome one) and taken some of the drag out of my mornings. The other supplements I take have done this gradually, but the Adrenal Cortex has made a pretty noticeable difference in how I feel without being too powerful. I still have a very foggy head and feel crappy, but I'm far more optimistic about the outcome when I give this enough time and consistency. One thing I need to mention, though, is that I've had insomnia since taking this extract. It's likely my fault and not the actual supplement, however, as I jumped right in with 3 capsules a day when ideally I should be taking 1 for a while and maybe work my way up from there, as needed. I've reduced my dosage to 2 capsules today, and I'll see whether it's still too much. I still feel better than usual considering I got 2 hours less sleep than usual last night, though!
My sinuses are all over the place; sometimes they block up completely, and rarely they both clear themselves up and I can breathe freely for a few seconds before having them close up again. This can (and often) happens all whilst being in the same environment -- my room -- and definitely increases in occurrence when I'm in bed and getting ready to sleep. I don't feel that much better when they DO clear up, so I reckon that they'll fix themselves once I fix the root problem (ie. AF, and perhaps other things such as thyroid problems, sleep apnea and the other possibilities I listed in the old thread).
You definitely sound like you have sleep apnea. Have you tried looking for home sleep studies? They're noticeably cheaper, and that's the route I'm going for because I find that the usual sleep studies conducted in their laboratories are way too expensive.
I'm considering allergies myself, but it's really difficult trying to find the cause. I'm congested regardless of where I am, so I'm curious as to whether I have an allergy at all, or whether the blockage is just a reaction to inflammation from feeling ill...
I don't have the $$ for a sleep study, unless it's free. I haven't had any incidences of waking up gasping since I dropped grains, despite still being congested from environmental allergies (had a skin test recently, allergic to most pollen, mold, and grass). I'm having a mild improvement on that with raw local honey, though that takes time to really help.
Might be worth seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist about congestion. Some people get nasal surgery and their congestion is cured. Who knows! The allergist I saw said some people find a cure through this route (for persistent sinusitis).
Blood can be tested for inflammation markers, that may be worth looking into, but there is probably more information elsewhere on the forum about that (I don't really know anything about it).
That's all I've got, really. Might want to mention if/how your exercise routine has changed at all, and if you are eating carbs (as a thin person who is exercising, you definitely should!).
An ENT specialist is worth considering, actually. Last time I went to the GP with my sinus issues, he just gave me a spray to use for a while to see if it had any effect. I tried that for about 2 months or so and there wasn't much relief, so I went back for advice and he just tried to prescribe me some other sprays. I tried one more and that didn't work either. I'll ask for a referral if I still have congestion in a few weeks' time.
I do heavy lifting every couple of days now and I always have carbs at every meal and for snacks. I'm trying to gain weight, so I'm stuffing myself to bulk up.
My insomnia was non-existent last night; those two capsules were enough to get me through the day without keeping me up all night.
I saw the other day that there is now an alternative to CPAP for sleep apnea.
Dentist are fitting oral appliances for some forms of snoring and mild sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea dental appliance reviews
I'm sure I've read about these appliances elsewhere on the forum, actually. I honestly don't mind which one I go for as long as it works. All I need to do is get a diagnosis so that I'll actually know whether it IS sleep apnea or not.
Originally Posted by springnr
An ENT specialist sounds great right about now. The only thing is, I've had these sleep issues for about 4 years running now, and I'm certain that I only started having chronic congestion about a year back. Still, any relief is only going to help in the long run.
Originally Posted by Sihana
I slept bizarrely last night. I had to get up to use the loo at about 2 in the morning, and couldn't get back to sleep for the life of me. I didn't stress over it, so I just laid there and let the time pass. Eventually, after 30-60 minutes (couldn't see the clock), I was able to fall asleep, but I plunged straight into REM sleep and found myself dreaming whilst consciously aware that I was awake. I couldn't move any limbs and snapping myself out of that state was difficult, and this literally happened at least 5 times in rapid repetition in the space of what felt like 5-10 minutes. I fell asleep properly after a while and nothing bad came out of it, but I've never had that happen so suddenly before.