While not the sexiest sounding issue, sleep apnea is not uncommon among the many sleep disorders that plague Americans. The effects are many, including high blood pressure, depression, irregular heart beats, and more. In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents. This is scary stuff!
After waiting a month and a half for an in-depth overnight sleep study, my appointment finally arrived.
After taking several dental molds and getting a ton of wires glued onto my body, literally from head to ankle, I went to sleep. With a full mouth mold connected to a computerized device to alter the location of my lower jaw, and sticky electrodes everywhere, I managed to fall asleep within about half an hour. Mind over matter, I always say.
I woke up around 4am because my jaw was really sore. The mouth device had slowly and gently pulled my lower jaw so far forward, nearing the maximum distance it would go, but since it was most of a night, the masseter muscles of my jaw were just tired and hurt.
They lessened the stretch and let me go back to bed. Fortunately, the rest of the night was acceptable and the overall test seemed to go successfully. My full results will be back in about a week and therapy will be designed based on the data.
Knowledge is power. If you suspect something, even small is wrong, I recommend chatting with your doctor. Sleep disorders are no laughing matter and they affect almost every aspect of your life. My hope is to get this figured out in time for grad school.