Sleep Disorders1 Comment

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I have been experiencing a problem with sleeping on and off for over 4 years. When it gets really bad, I use sleeping tablets otherwise it eases up after 3 to 4 days. Then I will be able to sleep properly for about a week only for the problem to start up again. It’s usually a problem with falling asleep.

In the past 2 weeks, I noticed that I have not been having a problem falling asleep but after about 4 hours, I wake up and cannot sleep again. I feel tired like I was breathing hard like when swimming or exercising. My doctor thinks that this may be the start of sleep apnea and is scheduling an appointment at the sleep clinic.

I am slightly overweight but have been like this for well over 10 years. My wife says that I do not snore so I am confused how this could be sleep apnea. When I wake up, my nose and roof of my mouth feel sore and dry. Could this be sleep apnea? Other than my weight and being a smoker, I have no health problems.

1 Comment on this article

  • Dr. Chris September 21, 2010

    This most definitely sounds like sleep apnea so your doctor’s advice for you to be evaluated at a sleep clinic is correct.

    Sleep apnea is when there is a cessation of breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea – obstructive and central. Snoring is often present but may be absent especially in central sleep apnea.

    Fatigue upon waking, sore throat and dry mouth are characteristic symptoms of sleep apnea.

    It is also important to assess whether you have any respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) since you are a smoker. With COPD, you will experience greater difficulty in breathing when lying flat. This may cause you to breathe in “harder” and hamper the air intake which would also explain your fatigue, sore throat and dry mouth.

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