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Sleep Specialist talks to an insomniac about apnea, issues & solutions

(deep reverberation) (bass tone) – I’m Combat Craig, and tonight I have a special, special
guest with me tonight. Her name is Kathleen Gallagher
and she’s a sleep specialist, and we’re going to break down my diagnosis for sleep apnea, how I went into the VA and got the test for it,
and then the sleep study, and a few other things. So, hi Kathleen. – Hi Craig, how are you? – I’m doing pretty good. Why don’t you tell us a
little bit about yourself? – Oh my gosh, well, like
you said (chuckling), I’m a registered sleep
technologist and I’ve been in the sleep field for over 12 years. However, I’ve been in the
healthcare field forever. I worked in surgery before I
even was in the field of sleep, so most of us in healthcare kinda switch around different jobs, but
I find the sleep part of it to be really rewarding, because I get to meet a lot of people. I talk to a lot of people
about why sleep is important. Even meeting you and getting
to talk about your sleep study and your sleep issues and talking to you, hopefully we maybe touch somebody else who’s out there listening. – Basically, what happened, I’ve had insomnia forever. I was diagnosed with PTSD,
had mental health problems, pretty much my entire
adult life since I got out. And insomnia’s just kind of been there and finally, I decided to go in to the VA and ask for a sleep study to learn more. And you taught me more
and you’re gonna teach a lot of people more in a minute. But I kinda wanted to just start about the screening that I took which was called the STOP-Bang screening tool. And I just wanted to kinda, it seems like such a simple test, but I just wanna get your take on why that test is the way that it is. – Well, first of all, that
STOP-Bang questionnaire was designed by a group
of anesthesiologists, because who better to screen
patients except for them who sees patients sedated
on a surgery table? And the reason they came up with this test or this questionnaire was to find out who would have a hard time
coming out of sedation. So, the STOP-Bang
questionnaire is a series of eight questions and men
can get eight out of eight and women can get seven out of the eight, because there’s a gender
question on there. But the S is do you snore? The T is are you tired? O, has anybody observed
you stop breathing? P, do you have high blood pressure? B, do you have a BMI, I
believe it’s over a 32? Age, are you over 50? Neck size greater than 16 and a half, 17? And then gender, are you a man? It’s usually men who get
sleep apnea before women do. But if you answer three of
those questions as positive, you’re already at risk for
some sort of sleep disorder. – Just that alone is hard to understand. It was like, oh, you have insomnia and that was about as far as it went. Here’s some Trazodone, here’s
some Xanax or whatever. I don’t even know what
got me to actually ask for the sleep study. Maybe it was simple as you should ask for a sleep study, maybe. – Well, insomnia’s, of course, our number one sleep disorder. So most people report
insomnia and, of course, you’re a vet so you’ve got other
issues you’ve got going on, which will, of course,
make your insomnia worse. But possibly, sometimes
insomnia’s related to sleep apnea as well, so that’s why I
would think your physician might’ve suggested let’s do a
sleep study if nothing else. Even if it wasn’t for having apnea, just to see how long is it
taking you to fall asleep. Are you actually getting
your sleep stages in? What does your sleep look like? We learn a lot from that as well, even the people who claim they have a difficult time sleeping. – Right. So, I passed; is it called passing
or failing (chuckling)? – You can use pass or fail, that’s good. I know people like, I’ve
got it or I don’t have it, because they don’t wanna have it. But I’m like, you know what? Everybody’s probably got
it, so don’t worry about it. (laughing)
– Right, right. – It’s normal. – I passed or failed,
however you look at it. The consult was put in and
the appointment was made and I went to the sleep study
a couple of months later and I’m scrolling down on my sleep study notes and wanted to talk
through them a little bit. I know a little bit about them. What is up with the, what are all those, can you talk about the probes and the nose thing?
– Sure, the electrodes? – Yeah. – So, some of things
we monitor on patients when they go in the sleep
lab for a sleep study, is we monitor your brain activity. Like I said earlier, we
wanna see if you’re actually getting in all of your sleep stages. So there’s, of course,
you’re awake, right, and then you’re asleep. But when you’re sleeping,
there’s stage one sleep, which is that stage of sleep
you’re in just very briefly, just for a few minutes, before you nod of to sleep, sleep. So stage two sleep for adults, we spend about 50% of the night in. Stage three, which is our deep sleep, that’s low-wave sleep that you hear about. That’s that really
great restorative sleep. That’s where toxins get
cleaned from our brain, that’s when our memories are saved, that’s when our body grows,
that’s when our body heals. So a lot of good stuff comes
in our slow-wave deep sleep. And then, there’s our dream sleep, which is really important too, because that actually helps
take all of our memories and meld them together
with everything in our past so that we can make good
decisions and be cognitive and innovative and
creative and going forward. So it’s really important that you actually get all
these stages in there. So having a sleep study and
watching your brain activity gives the doctors a really good idea of what’s going on with you. We watch you heart rate,
we’re watching to see if you’re legs are moving,
we’re monitoring your breathing, we’re monitoring your
respirations, your pulse oximetry. So we’re monitoring a lot
on you when you’re sleeping. And I know if everybody said, “How am I supposed to sleep with this on”, I said if I even had a penny
for everybody who said that. For those people who are tired and sleepy, it’s not gonna affect them too much. For the person who has insomnia, it might take them a little bit longer to get to sleep, for sure. – In my case, I took extra sleeping pills to make sure that I went to sleep. – And you didn’t sleep very long, either for your sleep study.
– Yeah, I was gonna say, I didn’t sleep very long. – No, I think you were just under, yeah just under four hours. Very short time. Not very long. But again, like I said,
we get data from that too. If you’re the person
who says, you know what, I just can’t sleep any longer. That’s gonna tell us, guess what? You don’t really have great sleep quality and yes, you need some
more sleep because of it. You did have a little
bit of sleep apnea too, especially if you were
sleeping on your back, which is your worst place to sleep, because it’s your tongue that falls back and cuts off your air supply. But let’s suppose you
actually slept longer, let’s suppose you slept eight hours instead of the almost four hours. Maybe your apnea would’ve
been a little worse. And I think I saw that you
were put on a CPAP machine and I’m not sure that you
were really fond of it, but I think you were so mild
that it wasn’t something that you felt was really helping. That if you actually stayed off your back and slept on your side, you
were probably just fine. And I think that’s what you had mentioned. – Yeah. And that’s basically what happened. After I got the CPAP machine,
got fitted and tried it, and I was like, wow, this
is really complicating my trying to go to sleep issues. And then, a VA doctor
called me, I don’t know, six weeks later maybe, or two months later and he’s like, basically
your problem is insomnia and you should, I am, and at the time, was enrolling in cognitive behavioral
therapy for insomnia. So he was like, your apnea is mild. Your insomnia is gnarly, your sleep ap– all that stuff. So you should probably get some tools, see how you like that, learn some things. It’s kind of what he
was pushing me towards. Then come out and we can
talk about the CPAP machine, but for right now, I would ditch it. That’s basically what he said. (laughing) – But, I know that you struggled with it and I know a lot of
people struggle with it, so I’m just gonna talk
about that really quickly, that a lot of people get put on CPAP. First of all, most people don’t
wanna go have a sleep study, because they don’t wanna get
this big Darth Vader mask I would share about; and I would say it’s
really patient-driven. We don’t put a full-face mask
on people to start out with. We want people to be compliant,
we want people to be happy, we want people to feel better. So we usually start
with the smallest mask, and if that works, great. If, for some reason, we need
to pull the full-face mask on, well then, unfortunately we might have to, but it’s to the benefit of the patient. So, and I always tell people that if you get your CPAP
machine and you’re at home, don’t be surprised if you rip that mask off after four hours. That might be all you can
tolerate and you’ll wake up and you’ll hate it. But eventually, if you keep with it, you’ll wake up one
morning and be like, wow, I made it through the night. And for some people who are
just kinda in that mild range, I don’t know if they notice
such a great big difference. I talk to people who are
significant with their sleep apnea who definitely will talk
about a lifestyle change. – Right, and I guess, thanks for hopping in there. I have a very good
understanding that it is mild, and when we’re talking through
learning different tools to deal with insomnia versus struggling with the CPAP machine; if it was medium or major, that would’ve been a different story and I know a lot of people
are in that category and they have to deal with
insomnia and the CPAP machine. – This is true. And I know it’s a struggle, it’s real. It’s a struggle for a lot of people. I know a lot of people, like I said, they’ll say, “I don’t wanna have it”. Well, I always say, what if the stigma was everybody should have a CPAP machine? Because then nobody would be thinking that it’s not what they wanna have. And you really need the
support of your spouse, your bed partner, whoever; so that you feel comfortable
wearing it, you know. And do what’s best for your health. You’re damaging a lot, it
really affects your body over time. – Doing pretty good with the… Sleeping part now. I’ve started using this
app called Headspace, and it literally just bores me to sleep, but it’s helping me
with the insomnia part. This is kinda what the
doctor was telling me, was you’re mild on your
back and I was like, where do you sleep normally? I’m like, I’ve been a stomach sleeper. So he was like, all right,
this shouldn’t be a problem. Insomnia, insomnia, insomnia, CPAP later. So that all makes sense. I ask people a lot of
questions so I understand what I’m doing. I’m suspect when I deal with
the VA about everything. Are we doing this because it’s
a government protocol thing? Or are we doing it because
it’s actually helpful and healthy? Or is it a hybrid? Just let me know what the agenda is so I can understand it better. So, yeah, basically I’m probably getting six, seven
hours’ worth of sleep now and this is in the last
eight days or something. I noticed I’m a little less crabby. I don’t know that those that are around me and interact with me
would agree with that, but the big part was something we talked; our very first conversation
you were saying if you’re gonna use an app like that, do it when you wake up in
the middle of the night. And I was always just kinda
thinking about doing it before I go to bed. And I just never really thought about that two in the morning wake up
when I can get all the way up and boom! Little British female voice,
go back to sleep Craig, go back to sleep Craig!, literally. It’s funny, the easiest
way I can explain it is it just literally bores me to sleep. I could probably start playing
it now and got to sleep. (laughing) – Well, you know, that’s how it’s designed to work, honestly; so that you actually become so used to it that it should put you to sleep. So I’ll tell patients all the time, if you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t get back to sleep; ’cause insomnia could either be insomnia of initiating sleep, insomnia of getting back
to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night
or you can have both. And for you, you were having a hard time getting into sleep and that’s
why you were doing Headspace in the first place and you’re right. When you said you woke up
in the middle of the night, you would actually just get
up and start doing things. I said why? I said lay in bed and put
that Headspace back on again and see if it helps. So, I’ll tell people,
if it’s not Headspace, which is a great app, just go to YouTube and find a guided meditation for sleep, ’cause most people have
no idea what is anyway. And I said, you don’t try it
once, it’s not a one-time fix. If you’ve had insomnia for a long time, it’s gonna take a lot to undo it. You really have to retrain your body and you’re not supposed
to lay in bed either if you can’t sleep. Get out of bed and do something boring. But I’ve met the people who are like, I start doing laundry, I
start ironing the clothes. I said, no, you’re not
supposed to wake yourself up and do stuff, but do something boring. And I know one physician
I would work for would say read the Bible and
people’d say (chuckling), I find it very stimulating, and he’d say, come on, there’s boring parts. But, don’t get on the computer. You don’t wanna turn off
your melatonin production, you wanna find boring poetry or something. Read a boring book, but
just do something relaxing, not energizing. – That’s a good point,
especially in my case. Regardless of what I’m doing, if I get on the computer, whatever, it’s some politics or some news, that’s always going to be horrible, end-of-the-world kinda stuff. If it’s an email, I
might look at it sideways or something like that or if it’s a text or whatever, something. So it’s gotta be something
that I need to respond to in some way so my body will wake up and other emotions will happen; whether they’re feeling
super productive or I’m angry or oh, gosh, I gotta get
that done, or whatever. So, yeah, pick something
boring so you don’t come up all the way out of sleep like that. – And I wonder, do you not
notice, do you feel like; I would know that there are people who aren’t getting enough
sleep like you were before when you’re sleeping three to
four hours or whatever it was. I would think that as you get more sleep and your body becomes
more accustomed to it, it will take you less
times to do the things that would take you longer to do because you were sleep-deprived. ‘Cause your brain truly
doesn’t function at its peak when you’re that sleep-deprived. You’re not able to be making
the greatest decisions, even when you’re sleep-deprived. So, I’m hoping for you
that that actually is what happens with you getting more sleep. – Yeah, I hope so too. And again, a few things that came out of our first conversation. But one of them was you were
talking about the memory part in the stage three and four and basically, I barely go into that and
I would agree with that as a whole, and you’re just like, how do you really remember anything? And my memory’s horrible
and it’s so frustrating to read anything, ’cause I just forget it within 30 minutes, my short-term
memory loss is horrible. So that’s another thing,
I wanna make this work for a lot of health reasons,
but if I can improve my memory and mood, that would be huge. – It would be absolutely great. I know that there was some
research I just read recently, that even if college students
got one extra hour of sleep nightly, ’cause we know everybody
is sleep-deprived anyway; that it would really greatly improve even their study outcomes,
their test outcome. I talk to the kids who are in high school who are sleep-deprived as well. And I would say, don’t you
know that if you slept longer, you would do better on your grades? Your brain grows, your body
grows, don’t short-change it. And I feel like a lot of
it is what they see at home where we’re all busy
adults, we’re busy humans. The time that we used to all
sit around the dinner table at six o’clock and have dinner together, those days are gone. We’re too busy packing everything in, we’re on our computers,
we’re busy on our phones. There’s no longer one TV in the room where you have to get up
and change the channel. So, everybody’s got their
own TVs, their own tablets, their phones et cetera. So you gotta turn that stuff off at least two hours before bed. – Right. – Yeah. – You also mentioned caffeine too. What was your? – Oh, yes, caffeine’s a big one. So caffeine has a five
to six-hour half life, so I’ll tell people
the time after you take that last sip of caffeine, think about five to six
hours later 50% of it is still floating around in your brain. Meanwhile, your brain’s
trying to shut down and go to sleep. So if you’re drinking
caffeine at dinnertime, even that cup of decaf coffee
still has 30% caffeine in it. So try to cut out that caffeine
around lunchtime if you can, so that you are able
to get a better sleep. I know that people say, I can fall asleep, I can drink a ton of
caffeine and fall asleep. Yes, you can, but it really
can affect your sleep at night. Some people are very sensitive to it, whereas others are not. So, just be cognizant of it. – It’s a overall best practices thing, everything coming together. And then you have to be willing to try everything all at once. The caffeine I’ve stopped
a couple of months ago. I have my doing-the-do
moments and I do drink coffee in the morning, more regularly now, but I’m definitely not
doing it in the afternoon. Sometimes I take a nap at two o’clock and have a little coffee to wake up. That’s bad, bad, bad kinda stuff. The app, turning the TV off, and just knowing that
if I get all the way up and do something
stimulating with my brain, I’m gonna wake myself up all the way. So, yeah, (incoherent stammering). Let Clyde out. It’s freezing out, let him out real quick and yeah, just have the
voice put me back to sleep. So, so far, so good. – That’s awesome. I hope a lot of people are listening to see that you tried it and it works and that they can try it too. And it’s a small change,
but it has a big impact. And like I said earlier, and
just like you’re doing it too, it takes time, ’cause your
body’s going through a change. ‘Cause you had only been getting such a small amount of sleep as it was. And then even coupled with, I know you told me that
you had cameras and stuff around your house too, ’cause I know that when you guys come back from wherever you’d been and after seeing whatever you’ve seen, you guys
deal with a lot, gals too. You know what I mean? When you come back home and have those demons
you have to deal with and those are the things
that keep you awake. And I know there are
some people are afraid to even go to sleep ’cause
they don’t wanna have dreams about things that they’ve
seen or been through. So, you know, it takes time. – Right, long time, and a lot of retraining
and constantly aware that it’s just gonna be
something you’re gonna deal with for the rest of your life, so. – Well, I think all of you guys, when you go off in the military
are taught differently. You’re taught how to always be
alert, always to be on guard, always to be safe, always
watching your buddy’s back, so. When you come home then, I
know I’ve talked to people who are clearing their
house with their gun before they go to sleep,
or the guys are sleeping with their camo blanket
because they feel safe. So everybody comes home with
a little bit of something, whatever keeps them safe. But we never really talk to the vets about how to come back home and how to be able to relax in your
own home and feel safe so that you can sleep comfortably. – VA doesn’t make it really that easy to, hey I have this problem. They’re not quick to diagnose you with mental health illnesses and not necessarily quick to, it’s just not a easy process. Maybe it just wasn’t easy for me, but I know I’m not alone. I figured out I needed a
sleep study and I got one. Maybe I needed to be a
little more persistent back in the 90s about
my mental health stuff. And maybe that would’ve
worked better, I don’t know. – I don’t know if there was as much, I feel like now they’re
realizing how much more the mental health, behavioral health, all inter-relates with
everything else that goes on with a person; treating, really, the whole
body, mind and spirit. So I don’t know if there was
as much awareness about it back then, even as much
awareness about sleep like there is now. So, I truly think that now there seems to be more and more
awareness about, like I said, treating the whole person. I think that’s part of the reason why. – Just before we go, I know
this is kind of like a big, huge couple of topics. I was wondering, can you explain the differences between obstructive, central and mixed sleep apnea? If there’s a (laughing)
– Sure. – kind of a tie-up? – I think you’ve been reading some info. So yes, obstructive apnea; that’s when somebody’s sleeping
and it’s usually your tongue (clicking) that falls back
and cuts off your air supply, so if you can imagine there’s
no air getting through here. However, we’ll still see
the belly moving in and out to try and get air in. So that’s why I always say
sleeping on your back’s your worst place to sleep ’cause gravity pulls your tongue back. And it’s not to say there aren’t people that possibly have deviated septums or it’s like kids who have
large tonsils and adenoids and they go get those
removed when they’re kids, because they’re snoring
and that’s not normal for kids to be snoring. Central apnea is when your brain doesn’t signal you to breathe. So sometimes we’ll see that on people who are on some heavy opioids, possibly. Or people who we see
they come out of surgery, people who’ve got some
congestive heart failure, we’ll see that. People who retain oxygen so that their brain doesn’t
signal them to breathe. So when that happens,
there’s absolutely no signal, nothing, silence, not even a
snore at the end of that one. And then, mixed apneas
are a combination of both. They kinda start out as a
central and then they become a little bit more obstructive. Then we’ll see those in patients as well. So, you can kinda have
a combination of any. Hypopnea is the one you didn’t mention, that’s the one where
people are under-breathing. ‘Cause remember we talked last time, I said if I see a nice
wave pattern for breathing, that’s great. If I see a decrease,
you’re under-breathing and flatten, you’re not. So under-breathing, hypopneas; that term kinda gets
lumped in with that apnea. But we see that very common as well, and any of these apneas, by the way, only need to be 10 seconds long for them to actually be counted
when we score a sleep study. So, if you can imagine
the most normal apneas or hypopneas we see are
20 to 30 seconds long, but I’ve seen them up over
a minute, 90 seconds long. – Like (deep inhaling) – Yeah, (laughing), so I’ll say, can you hold
your breath for 60 seconds, take a couple of breaths, hold your breath for another 70 seconds,
take a couple of breaths and 90 seconds? I said, you really can’t
do it when you’re awake, but people do that when they’re sleeping. It’s amazing what you can
do when you’re sleeping that you can’t do when you’re awake. So, that’s concerning,
because if you’re holding your breath for that long a time, you worry about what
happens when your blood’s not flowing around, ’cause
that’s what happens. Your heart slows down,
blood’s not flowing around as quickly as it normally would, and we’ll see that pulse ox
on that patient’s finger, that number drops. But when you’re holding your breath for that long a period of time and your oxygenation is dropping, we worry about blood clotting because it’s not moving around. Then, we have a different conversation. – Right. Very different. On the central sleep apnea; is there a percentage of people that have obstructive
versus central verus mixed? I’m sure it’s probably
something I can Google. – I don’t know, honestly,
what the percentage would be. I’ve seen people have central apneas that were on some sort of pain meds and then we do another
sleep study on them later and they don’t have central sleep apneas, because they’re not on
their pain meds anymore. Usually that’s more the
common thing we see, unless you’ve got some other
kind of breathing disorder or issue with your heart. We’ll see that sometimes
in older patients. So it’s a different type of machine. So earlier, we talked about CPAP. CPAP stands for continuous
positive airway pressure. So as you’re inhaling and exhaling, it’s the same pressure. So imagine you’ve got a
fan blowing in your face. It just takes room air at a pressure and you’re breathing it in and out. When you have central apnea
when your brain doesn’t signal you to breathe, there
are special machines out there that actually can monitor your
breathing for a little while and then they know when
to actually instinctively put that breath in there for you. Which is amazing, so for those people, that’s life-saving technology. – I wanna do another sleep study at a certain point in time. Is that a six months thing or a year? And I don’t know if I can
do that again at the VA? I don’t know what their criteria is. There’s one of those home kits on Amazon. Will that do the trick enough for me to tell me anything that I’m actually getting into these deeper
stages of sleep at all? – Well, I don’t know
that you can go to Amazon and just get a home sleep test done. So first of all, let’s go back to what the time frame is. You know, it all depends. If you are somebody who, let’s say you had your
original sleep study and you didn’t sleep very long. And let’s say you came back to your doctor and said, you know what? I feel like I’m snoring,
I’m feeling tired, I have symptoms of really
just feeling not refreshed in the morning. Some sort of symptoms to indicate that maybe there’s a reason we really need to have another sleep study done. If you have that face-to-face conversation with your doctor and that’s documented, that’s a good thing. ‘Cause I know even
patients who are on CPAP that think maybe they
need to be rechecked, I’ve seen insurance reject them, because, you know what,
you haven’t gained 10% of your weight or lost so much weight, there’s no documentation that
says you’re still snoring or you’re feeling tired
and you’re doing fine and you’re compliant, so maybe we don’t need
to do one right now. I’m not sure how the VA does it, and then also, home sleep testing. So if you’re a guy who’s on CPAP, a home sleep test isn’t what you need. If you’re a first person or
suspecting possibly sleep apnea, ’cause that’s really what
the home sleep test’s designed to do. We’re not gonna see any brain activity, ’cause we’re not monitoring that. Typically, we’re just
really watching breathing. So the home sleep test is great, it’s a little screening
tool which really consists of a few different monitoring things. And you just come in, we
show you how to put it on and you go home and wear it at night. I know there’s companies that
will actually ship it to you instead of you having to come in. So there’s different kinds
of things that are out there. I honestly can’t say I’ve
done too many home sleep tests on VA patients. I would say most of them are– – Home studies are kind of the precursor to the real study. So since I’ve already
had a real study done and a real CPAP and a real diagnosis, if I wanna get real data to
see if I’m actually improving, I need to figure out a– – You could actually, if you’re the guy who was
really on the mild end and you just wanna see
how you’re doing possibly, and maybe you’ve even lost some weight, nobody’s reporting you’re snoring anymore. If you wanna see how you’re doing, I can’t say that they wouldn’t allow it. You do have a diagnosis
of having some mild apnea, so you could do it again just
to see where your apnea’s at. – Perfect, well I guess
I’ll probably do that as I work my way through the CBTI course. I think I have another month of that left and then I’ll probably
have another follow-up with my sleep doctor and kinda see where that all sits. – Because when we talked
earlier and I said since you only got just
under four hours of sleep and you did have some mild apnea; now that you’re getting longer sleep, is it possible that there
is a little bit more there? If you’re still sleeping on your belly, it’s possible you’re not; but if you’re moving around at night and you aren’t aware of it, it’s possible that you could be. So if you’re still not feeling refreshed, even after getting enough sleep, then maybe that would be something you’d wanna get checked out. – That’s probably, yeah, I’m not feeling refreshed,
but again, this is new. Not something that’s going to
change overnight, literally, after 30 years of doing this or whatever. – Yeah, if you can tackle
just that insomnia part and you can at least get that more sleep. And it’s not just that
CPAP is the only thing that’s out there. There are other things, ’cause I get it, not everybody wants to wear it. But there is other things, you can go visit the dentist and have him make a dental appliance that looks like a retainer
for your top and bottom teeth. And it’s designed to pull
your lower jaw forward so it opens up your airway. There’s things you can purchase on, I know people who go and
purchase things online, but there’s also something called Provent that we have to actually
try it in the lab. It looks like two band-aids you wear on the narrows of your nose
and they’ve got little flaps that open when you inhale and
they close when you exhale, and there’s a couple of other things on the market like that nowadays. You need a prescription for it, it’s not covered my insurance, but at least there’s other options. And there’s that implantable
device as well, Inspire; which you have to have
tried CPAP and failed in order to even go that route, but it’s another option as well. – The take-away is start somewhere. Start with a sleep study. Get past your primary carer, if that’s a (indiscernible). Just get it and be persistent, and then if you get the
take-this-home version, that happens to a lot of veterans as well. I don’t know if that’s a regional thing or a money thing or some combo. But, yeah, start there
and just keep insisting on the actual, real sleep study. – Well, don’t be afraid to
even have that conversation with your doctor. I know I said a few years ago, when I used to go out and do health fairs, that people would just
walk past me and say I sleep great, I sleep like a baby and they wouldn’t wanna
have a conversation. But now, I can talk to
everybody about sleep and a lot of people are
not getting good sleep, that’s the thing. So, there’s so much
more awareness about it and that’s why they really
need to talk about it. So, for the people who
are out there listening, don’t be afraid to have that conversation. I say everybody should
have a sleep study done, because you don’t know what you’re doing when you’re sleeping. – Right, period; like everybody. – Yeah, everybody. It’s just like going
to have any other test that’s mandatory that’s out there. So, it’s really to your benefit if you have something that’s going on and you don’t wanna have
damage down the road, it’s something you can take care of now. Maybe you need to lose some weight, maybe that’ll help. Maybe you don’t wanna
do damage to your heart, your blood pressure, you’re diabetic and your morning blood sugars are high; maybe that’s something that might trigger, hey, maybe I should go get his checked. – Thanks so much for
joining me this evening and walking through my sleep study and talking a little about
sleep apnea and stuff. I sure have learned a lot and it helps. A lot of this stuff,
it’s just gonna set up this veteran-friendly environment. You can read your records
and then you’re Googling, which I’m sure you would never recommend. – (laughing) Nobody does. (laughing() – That’s kind of where it starts, so I really appreciate being
able to talk to somebody that actually does this for a living and can actually tell me where I am and, again, you were the
person that really pushed me to get serious about trying the app, do something different. This is serious, you’re
gonna literally run yourself into the ground with more
than you already are. – Yes, it does. It ages you, you double
your risk for cancer, you lower your immunity. There’s just so many
things that can happen when you’re not getting enough sleep. So, kudos to you for doing
it, I’m proud of you. – Awesome, I will check back in with you and we’ll see if this
is still happening well in six months from now. – Absolutely. – Awesome. All right, with that, thanks very much. We will see you in the next video. – [Kathleen] Awesome, thanks!

9 thoughts on “Sleep Specialist talks to an insomniac about apnea, issues & solutions

  1. I feel so hopeless sometimes I just feel like that I'm going to die of a heart attack any day now the VA has drag their feet I'll tell them my CPAP no longer works my blood pressure is still Sky High it's like they won't even seek any other solution other than a CPAP I seen so many surgeries on YouTube it is ridiculous. I feel hopeless it's got so bad I even fell asleep while driving home from work what did the VA do absolutely nothing

  2. Craig if you are getting a 50% rating for sleep apnea then get retested and find out you no longer have it do you lose your rating?

  3. I have been diagnosed with ptsd/mst by the phys. at the VA, I filed a claim and what steps will I have to go thru now.

  4. Man, after watching this I was starting to question whether or not I might have sleep apnea or a mild form of it. I never feel like I get good sleep.
    Thanks for this interview Combat Craig! These are extremely helpful in understanding the nitty gritty aspects of these disorders.

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