Dopers with sleep apnea, did you feel like this before you were diagnosed?

I’m not asking for medical advice, but rather personal experiences. I’m currently seeing a doctor and am probably going to undergo a sleep study soon, but I’m just curious as to your personal experiences.

Both of my parents have sleep apnea - my Dad, who is overweight, and my mother, who is tiny. I’m not overweight and don’t snore. But I’ve noticed for a while that when I’m especially tired, I won’t be able to fall asleep because I stop breathing as soon as I start to drift off, so I gasp for breath and it wakes me up. I know, no brainer, right? Sounds like textbook sleep apnea. But it only ever seems to happen when I’m super-tired, and never when I’m just going to bed on a normal night.

Did anyone have this sort of experience - only doing the “gasp for breath” thing when you were super-tired, and never doing it (or noticing) it when you’re normally going to bed? Anyone else of average weight but diagnosed with sleep apnea?

With my sleep apnea, I was hit doubly. I had extremely severe obstructive sleep apnea (I was 200+lbs overweight at the time I was diagnosed, so it was a no-brainer), but I also have another condition, which I think is similar to what you do – I can’t think of the name of it, but simply put, my body just “forgets” to breathe sometimes. I was told it usually only happens in old people. It’s happened to me my whole life. I remember teachers in school saying stuff to me like “Litoris, breathe! You’re turning blue!” I actually became hyper-aware of my breathing because of that happening as much as it did. I have done the gasping thing, and yeh, it’s usually when I am really tired. As a side note, while I have no symptoms of sleep apnea now, I haven’t had a sleep study done since I lost my weight, I probably should schedule one just to be sure. When I had my tummy tuck, they had to put the O2 monitor on my forehead, since it wasn’t reading properly on my finger, and I did fine, so I am assuming that the OSA is gone and my other issue is pretty mild. Funny enough, the nurses made me double-check their counts when they did the rspirations count on me – I tend to take very few breaths compared to other people, but my O2 is always good, so…meh.

Sleep studies suck, but serve a good purpose. Sleep apnea is one of those cyclic things – it will cause you to gain weight, which in turn can make the sleep apnea worse, which in turn makes you gain weight…you get the idea. Good luck.

Of course, IANAD, but I do have sleep apnea. Since you aren’t overweight and don’t snore, you might not have traditional obstructive sleep apnea. You might have “central sleep apnea,” which, if memory serves, involves the central nervous system “forgetting” to breathe for you.

I’m glad you’re getting checked out. It sucks, but life is much better with the treatment. I hope you don’t have it though. Best of luck.