Ask HN: Have you checked if you have sleep apnea?

5 points by swyx 2 months ago

on a whim i posted my fitness tracker sleep stats online today and immediately got 4 people telling me i have sleep apnea. read more about it and realized I have all the symptoms. Apparently 30% of people do? especially overweight people.

looking into a CPAP machine now. can't believe I have gone so long with my base sleep assumption being "just get 8 hours bro". a lot of sleep science is probably overoptimized unreproduceable bunkum but i buy the sleep apnea thing.

jfengel 2 months ago

Yeah. I actually feel fine and don't have many sleep disorder symptoms, but I occasionally wake up gasping, and people who share a room with me have noticed more of them that I was unaware of.

I had a sleep study done. They noticed a few apnea incidents, but not enough to warrant a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

Don't get a CPAP without a diagnosis. Anything you can buy without a doctor's approval is going to be potentially dangerous. And the symptoms of apnea can also indicate a lot of other things; don't cover them up by trying to treat them yourself.

The diagnosis will require a sleep study. It wasn't a ton of fun (wired up to an EKG and had to get help disconnecting it in order to pee), but I now have tons of data about what my sleep actually does. Not that it means much to me directly, but the professionals did a good job interpreting it.

gusestrella 2 months ago

Had severe sleep apnea and used machine for over 10years. Loved it ! Would travel a ton internationally and always had it with me’ - even on Asia trips. I simply couldn’t function without it. Anyway had lapband surgery and loss hundreds of pound and found started to have sleep issuesagain. Turns out as lost weight needed to change pressure pumped by machine. So had to redo sleep studies to tweak setting and then started to work great again.

Several years back on last study was told i didn’t need the machine anymore. It actually was again affecting my sleep using it. It took me like two years to get back comfortable not using it. I was so happy that was hard to give up. I-still keep an eye and if start to have sleep issue will do another study and if need machine will be happy to get one again

So strongly suggest to do study vs just getting machine. Well worth it

readonthegoapp 2 months ago

I think a real sleep study / test is prob warranted-- rather than going straight to cpap.

  • swyx 2 months ago

    but the test costs half the cost of the machine and im pretty sure i already have it?

    someone just reminded me that its needed for the formal diagnosis for insurance to cover the cost tho so yeah

jstx1 2 months ago

> on a whim i posted my fitness tracker sleep stats online today and immediately got 4 people telling me i have sleep apnea

What in your sleep data gave it away?

  • swyx 2 months ago

    im getting 40 mins of deep sleep a night and apparently it should be at least 80

    also quite a few straight up “awake” moments

    • jstx1 2 months ago

      My deep and REM durations are higher but my chart is full of waking up that I don't notice or remember, not sure if that's normal, or due to how fitbit measures and classifies things, or if it's a genuine sleep problem.

xchip 2 months ago

Why talking about this in hacker News?

  • josefresco 2 months ago

    I'm interested. I just wish OP had posted more details.

    • swyx 2 months ago

      what details do you need? i just wanted to remind people about sleep apnea

      • josefresco 2 months ago

        What were you numbers that were concerning? Do you have a link to your post? I have a sleep tracking band and was curious what "concerning" numbers look like.

        • swyx 2 months ago

          ah sorry - i cant link the post cos it was on a private alt, but basically over the course of 1 week i had 44m deep sleep, 5h light sleep, 2h rem sleep, 11m awake (total 8h 19m average) - and 4 friends mentioned apnea just taking one look at my chart

          they said average should be 80m deep sleep, and one guy had 2 hours deep sleep lol