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Does anyone have sleep apnea?

sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
A few people have commented on some posts I've made related to anxiety, that I might have sleep apnea. I've never really thought this was a serious consideration, until none of my medicines have helped me sleep lately. Plus I'm always sleepy and have trouble concentrating at work.

If you have sleep apnea, what were your symptoms that led to you get a diagnosis?

I just want to see if any of them are similar to what I am experiencing. Thanks in advance for sharing.

PS. I don't normally snore, however I've been told I snore quietly on occasion.
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Comments

  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    I do I do!!! I had a lifetime of physical and cognitive fatigue. I recall being as young as 8 and having dreams about taking naps. I was that exhausted.

    My symptoms included significant brain-fog, spaciness/distractability, mild depression, mild anxiety, difficulties concentrating, overall muscle and joint pain, and chronic, and often acute, physical fatigue.

    Over the years (I'm close to 50 now) I was tested (and treated) for thyroid, blood pressure, fibromyalgia, attention deficit disorder, and various other issues.

    I never snored. Actually, not until just a few years ago (and only when sleeping on my back).

    However, I did have quite a few sleep studies done over the years. They always indicated moderate to severe Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (treatable with the right doctor working closely with you) and no sleep apnea. Then, eventually, mild apnea (considered clinically insignificant until I met with an EXCELLENT sleep doctor).

    I tried a C-PAP machine but it didn't play nice with me. But about a year ago I was fitted for a dental appliance that I sleep with. It keeps my lower jaw pulled forward and slightly open... it's not the easiest thing to contend with but oh so worth it.

    It does take a good couple years to see really good relief from sleep disorder related symptoms. But the long-term health benefits (physical as well as mental/emotional) are priceless.

    Sorry to have rambled so much... feel free to PM me if you want. Otherwise, I strongly recommend requesting a sleep study. Shop around if you can, find someone through a personal recommendation. There's so much more to it than just a C-PAP machine.

    Hang in there, it's definitely worth exploring!
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thank you so much for the reply! I called to make an appointment with my doctor earlier today, but they couldn't get me in until February 17. After thinking about it, I definitely don't want to wait that long, seeing as not being able to breathe is weighing quite heavily on me. So I'm going in tomorrow and requesting a study be done. I swear, if he diagnoses me with anxiety one more time I'm going to flip and see a different doctor. I feel like this doc is so quick to blame anxiety on everything that he's not sure what it is.

    I've also been completely exhausted for the past I don't know how long. I've also been catching everything going around ,which isn't normal for me. I've had just a handful of alright sleeps in the past 6 months. Even when I've slept til 10am on the weekends (I normally get up at 7am) I feel like I could sleep for 5 more hours and just can't catch up. I feel like I'm 90 years old a lot of the time - moving slow, stiff, tired (I'm 33). Ugh!

    Well, I'm hoping to have some answers soon! I'd still like to hear from others. I'm wondering if anybody else has experienced waking up gasping for air right when they are about falling asleep? It gets so bad sometimes that I think I am going to die, because I can't breathe. I don't feel like I've stopped breathing, and sometimes it happens before I'm even asleep. It just feels like my airway is cut off or my throat is collapsing and my neck will go numb.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
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  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    That sounds so very familiar, and yes, I have felt that sensation. It truly is awful.

    Sleeping on your side and using those breathe-right strips can be slightly helpful while you wait.

    You may have anxiety issues that are caused by, or influenced by, sleep problems. (non-restorative sleep truly does have a pervasive effect on every single one of our body systems). Or, you may have anxiety issues that are truly separate from the sleep issues.

    But the important thing (to remember and to stress to your doctor) is that it's crucial to identify or rule out any possible physical causes or influences.

    Remember, your doctor may be the expert in his/her field (and you pay them for that and depend on them for that) but only YOU are the expert in YOU.

    I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress. =)
  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    Actually - have you had an ultra sound to check your gallbladder? (assuming you still have one, of course?) And/or an upper endoscopy to check for reflux or GERD? I was diagnosed/treated for both of these things and they both alleviated some of the sensations you are describing.

    As I think about it, I seriously must have been made up of spare parts, there isn't any one part of me that hasn't given out or given up. Hair included LOL
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    All I know is I wake up not being able to breathe and I go into panic mode. I'm not anxious when I go to sleep, that's for sure!

    Yes, my gallbladder has been checked and I had an endoscopy years ago. My gallbladder is fine (via blood test, plus I don't get the pains in my back etc.) and all my endoscopy showed was gastritis. I later found out my doc was a crock in the way of scheduling endocopies if you say your big toe hurt, and trying to get his staff to change patient's files. He threw acid blockers at me and said come back. I didn't take them and I never went back. I ended up taking acid blockers for h pylori treatment years ago, and my digestion suffered something awful, and I felt so crappy on them. I honestly can't remember if they did anything for me or not. Probably not if I can't remember.

    So basically, I've tried everything and it still happens. It's not even consistent with what I eat either. I ate a pizza one night and slept like a baby. Next day I had more bland food and boom.. can't sleep. For years I've been thinking it's linked to what I eat. But none of it makes sense anymore, I've literally tried everything I can think of.

    ETA: I sleep on my sides, rarely on my back or stomach.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
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  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    Sounds like a sleep study is your best next step then..... my fingers are crossed for you!
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yes, I agree. Thanks! Not that I want to go through all that, my fiancé just did on a few weeks ago. I just want to rule it out or in. Then I can figure out what is really going on.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
    STYLER: CJ Curl Queen
    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Not sure if it's important to you but not all insurance plans cover sleep studies. A co-worker had one done and it was hella expensive (we have good insurance but it was not covered). She was found to have sleep apnea but the treatments were so expensive, she didn't bother with them.:sad8:

  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Ours covers it. My fiancé and I have the same insurance and they covered his. He checked on it before he submitted his prescription for it. We have pretty good insurance, I'm grateful.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
    STYLER: CJ Curl Queen
    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • DaniGirl88DaniGirl88 Posts: 1,583Registered Users
    I went to a doctor because I had a cough and wanted to get a regular check up (was trying to set up a primary care physician). Well, she looked at my tonsils and noticed that I was overweight and asked if I had sleep apnea.

    She went through the symptoms of being tired, even after waking up from a good night's sleep and wanting to take naps during the day. I told her that I didn't have these symptoms and that I was only tired due to PCOS, but not overly tired, just dragging really. She insisted that I had sleep apnea because I have larger tonsils (at that point my whole throat was swollen from coughing for a month straight), and because I am overweight. Then she asked if I had diabetes. I said no, and that I didn't think I had sleep apnea based on what she was telling me. She insisted I have a sleep study done, which I declined. I didn't like her forcefulness and she completely disregarded my questions concerning the cough.

    The next day, I get a call from Mercy asking when I'd like to come in for my "doctor ordered sleep study." I declined and told them not to call back.

    My husband listened to me sleep for a few nights (while he was off). I know this isn't a for sure test, but I don't wake up gasping. I don't have any of the other symptoms she described besides being overweight and I know that's because of PCOS mainly.

    Have you heard of Apnea Strip? I wonder if that could be an option for you.

    I still want to get tested for it, because I know it can lead to serious health problems. I definitely think my husband has it.


    Here's some information:

    Signs & Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

    If you have any of these issues or characteristics, you should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea.

    Excessive snoring and/or nighttime gasping, choking or coughing (these symptoms may be noticed by your spouse or significant other)
    Excessive daytime sleepiness, which may result in falling asleep at work, while driving, at the movies and so on
    Lack of energy, including being unable to read or watch television without falling asleep
    Insomnia (especially in women)
    Hypertension
    Morning headaches
    Frequent nocturnal urination
    Depression
    Gastroesophageal reflux
    Obesity
    Large neck size ( > 17” men; > 16” women)
    Upper airway or facial abnormalities
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  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It doesn't hurt to get tested! Although I hear it's a big pain in the buttocks and not a very pleasant night's sleep. I remember my fiancé coming home at 5am and scaring me half to death walking into my room lol.

    I've been reading up on the symptoms and I have about half of them - but the sleepiness during the day isn't that I fall asleep doing everything. Although, I could definitely take naps at work. I can't normally nap and never want to. But lately I've just been so exhausted. The 4 hours of sleep some nights is killing me. Once I'm asleep I am fine... it's just the getting to sleep that is an issue for me. On nights it's really bad I can tell it's going to be bad. Which may indicate another problem. Doesn't hurt to rule it out. I'll see what my doc says this afternoon.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
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  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    I wanted to make a couple more comments... first, remember that those lists of symptoms are not just generalized, but many of them are symptoms of someone who has had apnea for many, many years.

    Second, the long-term damage from untreated apnea could potentially be very bad. Some damage is reversible, some isn't.

    Therefore, if you have apnea (mild or not), I compare it to if you were to smoke cigarettes. You will have some noticeable affects right now. If you continue to smoke, it's possible you won't end up with major effects later on, but you probably will. And by that time, it's too late.

    A sleep study is not a barrel of laughs, but it's not that bad. The sleep clinicians know this - the rooms are more like hotel rooms than you'd imagine. They don't need you to have a full 8 hours of sleep to get the data they need. Yes, you sacrifice a night in your own comfy bed, but it is for a very good cause.

    The expense of it is its own issue of course. But aside from that, if you do need the treatment, it isn't something to be ignored lightly.

    Ok, I'm putting my soap box away now. =)
  • DaniGirl88DaniGirl88 Posts: 1,583Registered Users
    I agree. I'm going to try to find a primary care physician so my husband and I can take the test to see if we have it. I hear once you've started treating it, it changes your life and you are more rested and energized. It's worth one night in your own bed for sure!
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  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I agree, not something to mess around with.

    My doctor ordered my sleep test for me, I have it scheduled for the first weekend in February. The thing I'm looking forward to the least is have electrodes hooked up in my hair. I just hope I'll be able to sleep. It's hard for me to sleep anywhere that's not my bed at night.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
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  • SereneCurlsSereneCurls Posts: 1,145Registered Users
    Sleeping in a lab is incredibly difficult, I've had to do it a couple of times. I have a disorder which limits my deepest sleep phase, so my brain continually wakes itself up into lighter sleep phases, with the result that I need more hours of sleep to get the healing and refreshing effects. Definitely make sure you don't have any naps that day. Also, the stuff they use to affix the electrodes on your head in place is difficult to wash Out of your hair, so you may have to shampoo a couple of times.
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  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I figured it might be. Thanks for the info!

    My fiancé sent me pics of the room when he went in for one. It's not a bad room, and they have a fan (I sleep with a fan on every night), so hopefully they will let me use it. If it's dead quiet, I'm going to have a heck of a time falling asleep.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm surprised they can diagnose from observing only one night of sleep. I would think ppl sleep differently from night to night.

  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I kind of agree with you spiderlashes. I've had problems for about a month straight now without a break. Last night was the first night in a long time I had 0 problems. But my fiancé said his tech told him that people "wake up" in the middle of the night gasping for air and they don't even remember it. So who knows.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
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    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea last year. He did his test at home, not in a lab. He sought the diagnosis because he was always tired. He'd sleep 12-14 hours and still wake up tired. He has always been a snorer, but the tireness had only been going on for like a year. He now sleeps with a CPAP machine, and it's been blissful for both of us. I love that he no longer snores, and he wakes up refreshed after a reasonable number of hours. The CPAP machine is very quiet, so I'm not bothered by it at all. I almost miss his snoring though...almost.

    Get it checked out. Sleep apnea will kill you slowly.
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks for the response! From everything I've heard it sounds like as much of a pain the CPAP machine is, it really makes a difference for people. That's good to hear!
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
    STYLER: CJ Curl Queen
    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yikes, the sleep center called me with an opening tonight, so I took it,. Unexpectedly nervous now. We'll see what happens!
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
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    COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
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  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Well, the sleep test SUCKED!

    My mind wouldn't shut off, so I didn't end up getting to sleep until about 2am. I had to take a Xanax to fall asleep. Of course, I didn't have the breathing issues I normally have - probably because I couldn't fall asleep right away. So the tech told me he won't be seeing me again unless the doctor sees something that he didn't. So, if I had apnea, I'd have to go back again to test out a breathing machine. So that's good news, but still no answers. However, he did say that it was "normal" to have what he called transitioning apnea, where you have it when you change sleep stages. He said unless it's over a certain number of times per hour they don't treat it. I don't know how that could be considered normal, but whatevs. I'm guessing it's just my acid reflux or something then.

    Now I'm a complete zombie at work going off 2.5 hrs of sleep.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
    :bunny:
    NP/LP: CJ Daily Fix, KMF Whenever / Giovanni TTTT
    RO/LI: Aussie Moist, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Hask Keratin Protein
    DC/PROTEIN: KC Stellar Strands / CNPF
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    :thumbdown:: glycerin in high/low dews, polyquat-10 & 11, parabens
  • DaniGirl88DaniGirl88 Posts: 1,583Registered Users
    sixelamy wrote: »
    Well, the sleep test SUCKED!

    My mind wouldn't shut off, so I didn't end up getting to sleep until about 2am. I had to take a Xanax to fall asleep. Of course, I didn't have the breathing issues I normally have - probably because I couldn't fall asleep right away. So the tech told me he won't be seeing me again unless the doctor sees something that he didn't. So, if I had apnea, I'd have to go back again to test out a breathing machine. So that's good news, but still no answers. However, he did say that it was "normal" to have what he called transitioning apnea, where you have it when you change sleep stages. He said unless it's over a certain number of times per hour they don't treat it. I don't know how that could be considered normal, but whatevs. I'm guessing it's just my acid reflux or something then.

    Now I'm a complete zombie at work going off 2.5 hrs of sleep.

    That sounds absolutely horrible and I'm sorry you had to go through it! I'm also sorry that you don't have much more information than when you went in. I've never heard of transitioning apnea, but is sounds interesting. I'm glad you don't have sleep apnea though! =)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  • TRBLTRBL Posts: 5,289Registered Users
    I'm surprised you were allowed to take Xanax, I would think any type of medication would interfere with the study. (but that is just a first thought - I'm no expert!)
    When I grow up, I wanna be a Jiujitsu Turtle!

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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    TRBL wrote: »
    I'm surprised you were allowed to take Xanax, I would think any type of medication would interfere with the study. (but that is just a first thought - I'm no expert!)

    I was thinking the same thing. Can they assure you it didn't interfere with the results? My sleep seems different (to me) whenever I take Flexeril in the evening.

  • RebeccaKRebeccaK Posts: 305Registered Users
    I've had quite a few sleep studies over the years - it is expected that you take whatever medication you normally take (and I'd always been on some kind of sleep medicine) and Xanax is ok, too. Basically, their equipment is sensitive enough to pick up whatever is there, medications or not.

    That said, I'm so sorry it was miserable AND non-helpful.

    It is never "fun" but usually not quite that bad.

    You will want to ask the doctor, at your follow-up, if the sleep study showed any Periodic Limb Movements, and ask what is the typical range. Then, I do strongly suggest that you consider another one in the future. But take the Xanax right away, or whatever you would need to fall asleep right away.

    Otherwise, don't give up!! If reflux is still causing problems, then explore further treatment there. If the study shows something further (ie Restless Legs or PLMD) there are numerous treatment options available for that.

    And, dig further into the results. See if there are any episodes of apnea (there are two different kinds they look at). I see a sleep doctor and a sleep-disorder dentist... they both feel strongly that the "recommended" guidelines for what's considered clinically insignificant are not broad enough.

    Hang in there!
  • sixelamysixelamy Posts: 4,156Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Rebecca is right - they tell you to take whatever meds you usually do. I asked the guy first just to make sure at the beginning of the study if it was alright to take if I needed it. He said it was, as long as it was prescribed to me, but he couldn't tell me TO take it. At 2am he asked me what I wanted to do, because he was sounding like it was pointless for me to be there if I couldn't sleep, hence the reason I took it. He did tell me though that Xanax will only get you to sleep stage 2, never deep sleep. He made a note at what time I took the Xanax. Sleep aids also make apnea worse, so the fact that I didn't have any while on it is a very good sign.

    I tried ACV last night and I laid down and I was surprised at how much airflow I had through my airway. I had 0 troubles and I woke up rested for the first time in I don't know how long. So I'm continuing the ACV if it's going to make that huge of a difference.
    2c-3a - med-coarse - normal-high porosity - high density
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  • TRBLTRBL Posts: 5,289Registered Users
    Thanks, both of you, for the clarification :)
    When I grow up, I wanna be a Jiujitsu Turtle!

    My british name, courtesy of Ninja Dog Shade Haven-Staffordshire: TRBL Hough Jewelstone Turtleneck

    Its chaos a few hairs at a time. ~Minxy

    "Dispute not with her: she is lunatic." -Richard III
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    I am glad you are going to get tested Six! As you said, there is nothing wrong with ruling it out. The longer you go without good sleep, the worse your problems get.


    I had a good friend who did sleep studies for a living. He moved away and I have not seen him in several years but the last time I saw him we went to a concert and stayed in a hotel room together. I drank 3 peoples fair share that night and when I woke up in the morning he told me every problem I had during sleep. "You stopped breathing 3 times for so many seconds. It would be wise to limit your drinking".'No equipment needed and he was in the other bed. It's quite amazing what they pick up on in one night.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

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