If you have sleep apnea chances are your bed partner is more aware of it than you are. Not to mention, you are probably more tired in the day than you should be. We met a Mitchell man who is finally sleeping like a baby and in the same bed as his wife thanks to the Avera Queen of Peace Sleep Lab.
After talking with his family doctor, Steve Mueller from Mitchell came here to the Avera Queen of Peace Sleep Lab to find out with absolute certainty what those around him have suspected for years that he has sleep apnea.
Avera Queen of Peace Registered Polysomnography Technologist/Respiratory Therapist Ranae Phinney says, "Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airway becomes relaxed during sleep and what happens is the airway relaxes to the point that it closes all together so it causes brief but repetitive pauses during sleep."
Steve Mueller says, "I snored and I snored loudly. Anyone in the house knew I was sleeping and it didn't make a difference what part of the house you were in because you could hear it. My wife and I weren't sleeping together anymore because she couldn't sleep in the same room with me."
When you come in for a sleep study, someone like Ranae Phinney, a Registered Sleep Study Technologist and also a Respiratory Therapist first hooks you up to all kinds of wires so they can monitor while you sleep. In Steve's case, he was only asleep for a few hours before his test showed he had stopped breathing a number of times in those few hours. Ranae went in and hooked him up to a C-PAP machine.
Ranae Phinney says, "C-PAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Basically, it's a small mask that fits over the nose and/or mouth that delivers airflow to open up the airway and hold it open. It acts as a pneumatic splint basically."
Steve says, "I'm not having periods anymore where I could become very sleepy very quickly during a stagnant time. If something wasn't interesting I could feel my eyes rollback and almost fall asleep or would fall asleep for seconds at a time."
Now when he gets some shut eye it is 8 hours of quality sleep at night snuggled up to his C-PAP and his wife who is also finally getting a good night sleep too.
Steve also says his C-PAP machine is very easy to travel with which has been a blessing since his hunting buddies have re-invited him to join the party now that he's not snoring.