Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series Jenny wrote about her sleep-related concerns and experience. In this portion, she shares her symptoms and the impact on her life – plus what finally spurred her to take action.
For quite some time now, I’ve been waking up in the morning feeling as though I hadn’t had any rest the night before ... regardless of when I went to sleep. Like every working mom, people suggested I was just overscheduled and overwhelmed. But I started to think it was something more.
I followed the sleep guidelines like it was my job. I slept in a dark, cool room and strived to get seven to eight hours each night. I avoided television, cell phones, bright lights and caffeine in the evenings. I also made sure to exercise regularly, and much to the dog’s dismay, kicked her out of bed. All of these efforts brought no improvement on how I felt. I’d been a mother of newborn preemie twins, and had three children under the age of 5 at one point – I know how tired felt. But this was different. And it was frustrating!
Fellow vacation buddies and family members had mentioned I sounded like I was sleeping well (read=snored like an 80-year-old man). But I still didn’t feel refreshed and well rested. Then, on vacation this past spring with our family, my parents and I shared a cabin with all the kids. The night was restless for all (as five people in one room at a cabin can be). Turns out instead of hearing coyotes howling at the moon, my family members heard me breathe and then stop with the same pattern repeated throughout the night.
While I didn’t fit the more typical parameters of sleep apnea, my fatigue and sleeping patterns sure had some similar characteristics. Still, I soldiered on, choosing denial instead of addressing what was probably an underlying health issue.
Then, I had the opportunity to hear Lois Talley, Physician Assistant at Hendricks Neurology, speak about sleep apnea. Her words finally spurred me into action. She discussed the effect that sleep apnea can have on the memory process and I felt that she was describing my symptoms perfectly. I had noticed that my recall was getting slower. I was usually a speedy, trivia answering machine, and now I was finding myself at a loss for words on occasion (much to my children’s delight). Lois’s descriptions were enough to motivate me to make a call to Hendricks Neurology to just make sure I wasn’t missing anything ...
Watch for part two coming up on our blog community!