I might have had Sleep Apnea my entire life, but even when I started to wake up in a panic feeling as if I were suffocating to death, I didn't know it. I chalked it up to stress at work, and the feeling of trudging through each day without any energy to some form of depression. Wrong on both counts. How did I find out? During a casual conversation with a friend of mine, I mentioned it and he told me to go to a sleep center to get tested for Sleep Apnea, a condition he revealed to me he had, but which I had never heard of before.
Only now do I realize what an amazing service my friend did for me by opening my eyes to this common disorder. Today, I am using CPAP and feel so much more energized than I did before. I realize what a life-changing experience being treated for Sleep Apnea has been, and the power a single conversation about Sleep Apnea can have on a person's life. That one conversation with my friend changed my world forever. Given that estimates are that up to 30 million Americans have Sleep Apnea, and only 10% know it, I'd encourage each of you to do the same for someone in your life. Get the word out and raise awareness.