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How a Sleep Study Changed My Life
From a Sleep Therapeutics Patient
Last year, the decision to get a sleep study changed my life for the better!
Why did I decide to get a sleep study?
I’d never thought I needed a sleep study before last year. I’d been sleeping poorly for as long as I could remember.Some nights it felt like I’d never fall asleep in the first place, and other times it felt impossible to stay asleep … I assumed it was just the way I was built. When my partner and I moved in together, I was confronted with a new challenge to my sleep: snoring. And man, could he snore!
For 8 years, we repeated the same pattern almost every night. First, he’d fall asleep (and I would maybe fall asleep). He would roll onto his back and the snoring would get louder, and I would shove him onto his side. My tossing and turning would wake him up, and he’d get annoyed. He would snore louder, and I’d shove him again. In the end, one of would end up on the couch.
Not only was I at my wit’s end, we were both exhausted. Finally, with the encouragement of a friend, we decided to make a change. We decided to figure out the root of our sleep issues so that we could solve them and move forward together.
What was the sleep study like?
When we committed to getting to the bottom of our sleep issues, I was expecting the whole process to be extremely complicated. I’d heard of people having to spend the night in a sleep lab and assumed I’d have to do the same. It was a really good surprise to learn that I could actually take the test at home; all I had to do was drop by the Sleep Therapeutics clinic to pick up the device (easily packed in a small box) and bring it home with me!
Since the device measures brain wave activity and movement, I assumed the machine would be clunky and super complicated to use. The Sleep Therapeutics staff were very helpful with their instructions, and they walked me through every step of setting up the device before I went home. The equipment was lighter than I expected, and I actually fell asleep without much difficulty. I think the fact that I knew I was going to get some answers took away a lot of the stress I’d been feeling about my sleep! And my partner? Well, he could sleep through the apocalypse, so the device didn’t bother him at all.
The next day, we packed up the equipment and dropped it back off the to the sleep specialists at Sleep Therapeutics. Within less than two weeks, we both received our individualized reports on our sleep.
What did the Sleep Study tell us about our sleep?
When going through the results, we were really surprised to learn that we both had sleep apnea. Neither of us had ever considered the fact that we may have a serious sleep disorder. We’re both young, in decent shape, and heck, I don’t even snore! I learned that even though snoring is common with sleep apnea, it isn’t the only sign.
With this diagnosis, other things started to make sense. The morning headaches, the constant fatigue and 2:00 pm energy crashes, always feeling like I could sleep for hours more … it turns out, those were all symptoms of this underlying sleep disorder. The sleep specialists determined that in both of our cases, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine would help. Both of our CPAPs were 100% covered under our private insurance, so all we needed was a referral from our family doctor!
How has CPAP improved our lives?
It took around a week to adjust to sleeping with our CPAP machines, but our sleep began to improve almost immediately. My partner stopped snoring almost entirely and I stopped waking up so frequently! What I wasn’t expecting is just how much this improved sleep would affect nearly every area of our lives.
Now that we’re sleeping better, we both wake up with more energy. We’ve been able to stick with our morning workouts, and we feel more motivated to cook healthy meals instead of carb-heavy comfort foods. We also noticed that we’ve stopped bickering, since we both felt less rested and not cranky!
Before, feeling exhausted was my “normal”. I didn’t even realize how tired I was, because I’d been tired for such a long time. I finally know what it feels like to be well rested! Knowing now how good I feel, I wish I could go back in time and make myself get a sleep study completed years ago. I would encourage anyone with any kind of sleep issues to think about getting a sleep study!