A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. All the signs were there for years: the bedroom ceiling concaves when I snore, and my father had sleep apnea. Even so–and even though I asked my doctor to test me for it–I didn’t really expect them to come back and tell me I had it. If I had apnea, I was sure they were going to tell me it was light, barely worth treating, really, but worth keeping an eye-on. Instead, they told me I stopped breathing, on average, over 60 times per hour.
I was honestly blown away; when they told me, I almost cried on the spot. Suddenly, I had confirmation of something I’d been denying to even myself for years: I was always exhausted, and there was a reason for it–a fixable reason–that wasn’t simply what I’d been worrying it was: encroaching age, and a growing lack of willpower.
Last week, I got my CPAP machine, and seriously: if anyone is on the fence about this, just fucking do it. In four days, it’s changed my life. The first morning after I started using it, I woke up and felt totally rejuvenated. As soon as it happened, I realized I hadn’t felt that way when I woke up for almost a decade: sleep was something I could collapse into at almost any time, but it never refreshed me. I always felt foggy and deadened. Now, when I wake up, I feel like I used to: like my battery has been restored. And I fucking dream again. I can’t even tell you the last time I remember my dreams.
Also, in reply to @noun above, granted this was a few years ago if you still haven’t gotten a CPAP because you think it’s not going to fix anything, please reconsider. You’re right that sleep apnea is caused by the muscles of the throat collapsing, which in turn, prevents you from breathing, but by keeping your air passages pressurized during sleep, CPAP machines can prevent that collapse to begin with. They don’t just “blow air in;” they keep everything pressurized. Untreated sleep apnea kills. It was a contributing factor in Carrie Fisher’s death, as well as my father’s. Any concerns you have about treatment are going to go away once you use it.