I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can have zero of the risk factors or typical symptoms for sleep apnea and silently be suffering every night.
BIPOC, LGBTQ+, WOMEN, and other marginalized people this is especially important for you. Sleep apnea is underdiagnosed in the general population and even more so for these groups. These people are already less likely to seek medical help for symptoms like daytime sleepiness or insomnia. When they do seek help, they are more likely to be dismissed or misdiagnosed as depression/anxiety (true story).
Be your own strongest advocate and do whatever you need to get your sleep study. Look out for others, share resources and help push them to advocate for themselves. Help tear down this culture that perpetual tiredness is expected. We deserve to rest.
I’ve learned a lot about this disorder in the last few months since diagnosis. Through talking to friends and family I’ve also noticed that most people don’t know shit about OSA other than “omg you snore? lol I think my uncle had one of those”. This stigma is dangerous as hell combined with the barriers already facing marginalized people seeking healthcare. The implications of untreated OSA are severe including increased cardiovascular disease, stroke, metabolic disease, excessive daytime sleepiness, work-place errors, traffic accidents – you are more likely to die from everything. Treatment is not easy but it is available and in some cases 100% effective essentially adding years of life back to your health.
Spread the word y’all.