Some of you know that I’ve been having trouble sleeping over the past couple of years. Actually, more accurately, having trouble *staying* asleep. Only being able to sleep for an hour or two before waking got annoying enough that last November I checked into hospital overnight for a sleep study for an uncomfortable night covered in electrodes.

What they found astonished me. I wasn’t just waking up every hour or two. I was stopping breathing over 75 times an hour — waking each time so that my breathing restarted, without being aware of it. They have diagnosed severe sleep apnoea. The condition wasn’t necessarily a huge surprise (anyone unfortunate enough to have had to share a room or even house with me knows my snoring is pretty epic – my dad is just the same) but the level of severity was.

They immediately gave me a CPAP machine which forces me to breathe during the night by blowing a gale through a mask at me. The effect has been pretty much immediate — the first morning I felt infinitely more awake and I have a huge amount more energy than I have had in years.

The weird thing? You’d assume that having had no REM in over 18 months, I’d *know* just how tired I was. But I really didn’t. I’d occasionally fall asleep in front of the telly, but otherwise I experienced hardly any daytime sleepiness (one of the key symptoms of the condition). But having had some decent sleep over the last week since I was given the machine, I can suddenly feel the difference. I have more energy, I feel smarter, more awake and much more balanced.

Net, my one and only resolution for 2010: To sleep more and get more done.

Any of this sound familiar, either for you or someone you know? The Sleep Apnoea Trust has a decent FAQ section, more info available at NHS Choices.