So we've established that dating is fraught with challenges for everyone but being a fat woman is associated with a few extra challenges. One of those for me is a bit of new challenge. In the last year I've started snoring. Now snoring is not exclusively a problem for the fat folks, but it is definitely associated with large neck circumference (which I have) and weight gain (which I did).
I've never been a great sleeper but in the last 6 months my sleep has gotten horrible. I've been stressed about work and I started waking up gasping on a frequent basis. My throat and chest were often sore and I was constantly tired.
I saw a doctor who specializes in sleep problems first in late May. He noted that I have a delayed phase sleep disorder and he was concerned about obstructive sleep apnea. He recommended a sleep study which I had at the beginning of July along with a program to help me shift my sleep pattern. He recommended that I stop exercising in the evenings which may be helping me sleep but I'm struggling with getting in the workouts that I know make me feel good overall.
So that brings us to the snoring. From my previous post, you know that I've spent a few nights this summer with someone new. The first night I hardly slept so snoring wasn't an issue. On the second visit, snoring became a bit of a problem. I find the fact that I snore very embarrassing. I'm not sure why because it's not really something I can control. I think the fact that it's new for me and I don't really have strategies makes it even more difficult. I just didn't know what to do about it. Luckily he was very understanding and though we did spend some time sleeping apart we were also able to make some time sleeping together work which was nice. I had the second part of my sleep study last night because the first one did reveal that I was having severe apnea in REM sleep. I'll be getting a CPAP machine and I got to try it out last night. I already sleep with a tooth guard because I grind my teeth so this is just going to add to my sexy quotient. I guess it's going to take a special guy to want to sleep with me and all my appliances!
Anybody out there dating with a CPAP? Or just as someone who snores? Got any tips? I guess there's not much I can do besides pull it all out once we get to that point and if we're comfortable enough to be sleeping together, I should be comfortable enough to put on my anti-snoring/keep breathing mask.
Some part of me hopes that I'm going to magically lose some weight by getting better sleep. The doctor mentioned that sleep apnea is associated with weight gain but that the data isn't clear on which causes which. He said he doesn't recommend that his patients try to lose weight before having a CPAP because apnea messes with the hormones related to weight control. I'm trying to remember all of my fat acceptance stuff and to love this body I'm in, but old habits related to the Fantasy of Being Thin still slip in every now and then. I do think getting back to regular yoga practice with it's focus on healthy breath work might be a very good thing for sleep apnea and I know it always makes me feel great as well.
Update: I just remembered that Coleen over at The Pretty Pear has been dealing with some similar issues (though she's not relating them to dating). Worth taking a look at her posts here and here if you suspect you might have apnea or another sleep disorder. She also links to the Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder information which I tucked in above.