I've just kind of powered through it. I had a mouth guard for a while because we thought my sleep apnea was caused by my jaw crushing my throat. But eventually I stopped using it because it was causing jaw soreness and alignment issues as well as hearing problems.
And then I started gasping awake at night.
Well this is unsettling.
It was odd. Waking up up to 3 times a night. It was then I realized that my sleep apnea was getting worse. Much worse. We had suspicions that I was unconsciously waking up at night (which explains why I was always so tired) but now I was aware of it.
Powering through wasn't working. I booked an appointment with a sleep specialist and took another kit home to see how badly I was sleeping at night.
And it was pretty bad.
In 5 hours of sleep I had apparently woke up a total of 44 times.
Now this is horrifying.
Alright, time to get back onto the CPAP machine. For those unaware, it's a little device that hooks into a tube, and the tube is connected to a mask, and the mask connects to your face. The machine pumps moist air into your face and that helps you sleep better.
If your jaw is crushing your throat, the increased air pressure will force things open. If your brain is stupid and forgets to breath, then hopefully this will stimulate breathing.
But that's assuming you can breathe to begin with. Immediately with the CPAP, I was having trouble adjusting to the mask. I was only able to wear it for an hour at a time before tearing it off my face because I was suffocating.
It took 3 weeks before we finally found a mask that worked for me. Up until now, the data collected was kind of skewed, what with 1 hour of sleep recorded. NOW we had 3 to 5 hours of sleep recorded at a time.
And guess what we found?
My brain is stupid.
They think that in addition to the possibility that my jaw is crushing my throat, my brain ALSO forgets to breathe. For up to half a minute at a time I stop breathing at night. This would explain why I would start gasping awake in the middle of the night. Lack of oxygen will do that to you.
LET'S ALSO HAVE WEIRD DREAMS ABOUT YOUR EX.
But we're slowing fixing things I think. The rate of my "not-breathing" has dropped to an average of only 5 times an hour.