I recently set up an appointment with a pulmonary specialist, which is the first step to having a sleep study done. I am a snorer with sleep apnea.

I think I've been a snorer since college. At least that is the first time I remember someone mentioning it. It was my freshman year roommate Char, who casually mentioned it over breakfast one morning. I guess I wasn't surprised, both of my parents were terrible snorers.

When we were younger, our goal on vacations was to fall asleep before our Mom did or you'd never get to sleep. And no amount of poking, prodding, yelling or telling her to roll over on her side would change it. That is now the kind of snorer I am.

On a recent road trip back from Montana, my friend Debbie spent a chunk of the night sitting up in her bed in our motel room counting the length of time I would stop breathing. She said a couple of times, she almost got out of bed to come over and wake me up. It was her concern, (and a health-related agreement with Ben) which led me to finally seek treatment.

Yes, I know it's important, sleep apnea can lead to blood pressure and coronary issues (not yet), headaches (major), excessive daytime sleepiness (I've been sleepy for decades! Who knew?), and sudden death (nobody likes that!).

In the meantime, while researching pillows I came across this article from Consumer Reports about how to stop snoring, if you don't have sleep apnea. They give you tips like:

  • Sleep on your side - I am a side sleeper! I could sleep standing on my head and still snore!
  • Lose weight - Yeah, yeah, like I haven't heard this before. Even when I was at my thinnest a decade ago, I snored.
  • Quit smoking - Never have.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime - This happens so infrequently, that again, I say, pfffbtbbt!

They also offered several tongue and mouth exercises which I am willing to try. But something tells me my snoring issues will only be solved with a very expensive CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

It seems to work for my younger sister and my brother-in-law is getting one soon, too. So I guess we'll make it a requirement on family vacations; everyone wears their CPAP and everyone gets some sleep. Now about my snoring German Shepherd. . .

Source: Consumer Reports

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