Thursday, October 20, 2005


Thank Waste Reduction Week, thank a variety of other factors, but whatever the reasons, I picked up No More Sleepless Nights again this week and have been pushing through that. Yesterday morning I came across a couple of pages that were so pertinent to me that they might as well have been written with me as the test subject.

The treatment recommended is the same my doctor suggested some months ago, but here it is in writing, with an explanation of how the treatment works. When the doctor first told me about it I was a bit hesitant as I didn't really understand what she was talking about (and the sound of it kinda freaked me out). We decided that I would participte in the sleep workshop first and then come back later to re-evaluate the situation. But now that I've read exactly how this treatment works, I think I may be ready to try it (even though it still kinda freaks me out). The book has answered some questions that have come up since my last visit to the doctor.

Part of my insomnia is related to upper airway resistance syndrome. This means that while I do get enough air into my lungs to maintain oxygen saturation, I struggle considerably to get this air in. Usually there is loud snoring, but no apneas or hypopneas. Rather, I awaken frequently, either from the noise of the heavy breathing or the effort to move the air.

The treatment that is referred to in this book is:
" ... a tongue-retaining device that pulls the tongue forward to prevent it falling back into the throat. An appliance is fitted over the teeth, with a bubble in front of the teeth. The patient sucks the air out of the bubble, inserts the the tongue, and the tongue is held forward for several hours. Other devices simply hold the lower jaw forward, which tends to open up the back of the airway. These dental devices work well in some cases, but [we] have seen many failures as well."

Feel like I've had a breakthrough. It's a good feeling.

No comments: