Sleep Apnea – Daytime Isn’t Great Either
I used to have a boss who suffered from sleep apnea. He was a very nice man and I liked him very much. Whenever he’d fall asleep behind his desk, I’d quietly get up from my desk and close his door so that no one would know that he’d nodded off. I’m not sure anyone was fooled, but as I said, he was a nice man and I didn’t want him to get into trouble.
All those sleepless nights left him tired during the day and he would regularly fall asleep.
Living with one of these sleep-deprived folks can be trying.
My husband used to roll in from work every night, change his clothes, camp out in his Lazyboy™ and fall asleep while I made dinner. I’d wake him up for dinner and we’d eat as a family. About half the time after we’d eaten, he’d lumber back to his chair and nod back off while I cleaned up after dinner and took care of the girls. Heaven forbid anyone changed the channel on the television! He’d suddenly bolt up and sputter “Hey! I was watching that!” How anyone can watch TV while they’re asleep I’ll never know. Actually, I do know. He very rarely slept very deeply, which was why he was always tired. Even though he had his eyes closed and was snoring away, he vaguely knew what was going on around him, even what was on TV.
The big pet peeve I had with this was on weekends. After doing any chores that needed done, my husband would head for the Lazyboy™ and conk out with whatever he wanted to watch on the tube. The girls and I were not happy watching old Dirty Harry movies, HGTV or football, but whenever we’d try to change the channel, he’d wake up.
I couldn’t figure out why, if he was tired, he wouldn’t just go upstairs and stretch out on the bed if he wanted to sleep. We have a TV in our room after all. I thought it was a huge act of selfishness to take over the whole family room, and then fall asleep.
Again, there was a whole lot of disliking going on here. One of our biggest battles was when I asked him to move the big TV into the basement. He felt like I was displacing him (and he was paying the mortgage after all). The catalyst was that one evening he had on something which was totally inappropriate for children and one of my girls saw someone get their eye taken out. I had to sleep with her in her bed for a week after that happened and my husband was completely disillusioned by my anger.
Since then, we have since made the basement much more pleasant and because he’s gotten his machine, he gets a much better quality of sleep. No more lump in the family room!
Sleep apnea affects whole families, not just individuals. It’s a treatable condition. My husband sort of hates his machine, but life since he’s gotten it has improved for all of us. I’ll see about helping him find a less irritating mask (since he’s become a much less irritating person!) so that it won’t be so unpleasant to wear it. It’s the least I can do to make sleeping easier for him.