"When I’m on the CPAP Machine, I Will Wake Up"

Continuous positive airway pressure helps sleep apnea sufferers rest easy (2:09)
Doug, 46, no longer worries about holding his breath or straining his heart while he sleeps.

As a radio news director, Doug, 46, has reported on sleep disorders several times through the years. But despite his constant tiredness and admitted lack of rest (watch Doug discuss falling asleep at the wheel), he never realized that he himself could have a problem—until he interviewed a doctor in 2006 about obstructive sleep apnea.

“I have all these symptoms,” Doug remembers thinking. “I was doing the story for everybody else and found out, hey, I'm really talking about myself here.”

To find out for sure, Doug went through an overnight sleep study. His results showed that he'd stopped breathing many times during the night. (Watch Doug discuss his sleep study.) When this happened, his body went into full gear, working overtime to wake him up—and putting him at risk for cardiovascular problems.

After his diagnosis, Doug began wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night, which keeps his airways open and allows him to sleep without fear.

Now that he has more energy during the day, he has started exercising and trying to lose weight. (Watch Doug discuss his inspiration to get in shape.) He sees his wake-up call as a new lease on life: a chance to be a healthier, happier, and more productive person.

De–stress your life, sleep better, and conquer depression with the latest news and insights on mood management, plus special offers.

More Ways to Connect with Health