This morning around 7 AM as I “woke up” if you would even call it that, I was laying there trying to somehow connect the imaginary wires in my brain to have an actual thought process. All I could think at this time was, I want to best put this experience into words once I do finally wake up. So here I am (Europe btw), waking up at 1 PM, opposed to that original 7 AM episode (luckily it’s the weekend). Here’s how my morning typically unfolds:
Keep in mind, this is my experience without using a CPAP.
As you lay there in bed, it feels as though deep in your heart/mind you KNOW you want to beat this and wake up. The problem is, is that you can’t even have those actual thoughts run through your brain. I would best describe that moment of illiteracy as being belligerently drunk or inebriated. This is all in your head though, as your body is basically in paralysis. So deep down you want to just scream at yourself to get up, but you just CAN NOT even have that thought process (weird, and hard to put into words, I know). I wanted to really focus on the physical aspect of the event as that is usually a bit easier.
Imagine your brain in four equal pieces: The top/bottom fronts, and top/bottom backs. Most of this occurs in what feels like the top front part of your brain. It’s an insane fog of confusion that also feels it is still in a dream state. I usually feel a slight burning sensation in the bony ridge that runs in the middle of your skull, focused mainly in the top center. The only actual words you can express are usually just a very weak groan. It is what I would imagine becoming a zombie would feel like. You’re in there… somewhere…. but are just completely suppressed by your critical battery brain.
Of course you do eventually find the strength to get up, which at this point you’re usually stumbling not to fall over and can’t keep a straight path; however, I will note that this is when you’re forced to wake up, such as for work or anything else. The confusion and stumbling isn’t usually as severe when you are able to eventually just wake up naturally.
I’ll keep the last part pretty simple. Throughout the day, you yawn CONSTANTLY. You could fall asleep at any time if you really wanted to. You know to yourself that all of the simple mistakes, such as forgetting words to say, struggling to hold normal conversations, making mistakes at work (such as missing/forgetting important details) isn’t who you really are, and it becomes pretty depressing knowing that you’re only at about 10% mental capacity (if that).
I hope this helps some people understand what it’s like to have severe sleep apnea. I’m also curious if others will see this and think “that’s very close to how I feel”. Also, I apologize for any mistakes, as I’m of course belligerently tired.
TL;DR Sleep apnea makes you feel like a mostly harmless zombie throughout the day.