Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have pauses in your breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. The pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes in extreme cases. The pause in breathing is usually preceded by loud snoring. When you resume breathing, you may emit a snorting or choking sound.
Since this disorder has a massive effect on your sleep quality and duration, it also causes extreme tiredness and fatigue throughout the day.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and describes a situation where your airflow is physically blocked. Risk factors for the obstructive type (OSA) include being overweight, having enlarged tonsils, a family history of the disorder, allergies, and a small airway.
Central sleep apnea is a disorder wherein regular breathing simply stops. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. It’s generally caused by an instability in the body’s feedback mechanisms that control respiration.
What did Christopher Ryan say about sleep apnea on JRE?
“I wanted to mention – almost as a public service – sleep apnea. I have sleep apnea…I was not breathing for 20 seconds at a time. This woman I was sleeping with actually counted. And she was like, dude, you’re choking. You’re suffocating.
So I went and got a test. It’s super easy. You take it home and put this thing in your finger and all that. They told me 20 episodes per hour is considered severe. I had 74. Ever minute I was suffocating to the point where I sort of woke up. And the throat tissues, you know the muscles, kind of contract so you can breathe again.
I got one of those machines and dude, I’m like sleeping again. I’m dreaming. It’s fantastic. “Christopher Ryan, Joe Rogan Experience #1369
After Joe Rogan asked him if he has a problem putting the CPAP machine on his mouth, Ryan said “No, it’s no problem. It’s like scuba diving.”
Joe Rogan on the risks of sleep apnea
The discussion took a turn to the health risks of sleep apnea. Christopher Ryan mentioned that sleep apnea can cause some negative health outcomes associated with lack of sleep.
“You’re like 50% more likely to have car accidents if you have sleep apnea. It’ll fuck up your job, you won’t get hard-ons. It’ll like ruin everything,” the best-selling author said.
Joe Rogan continued the conversation by mentioning an incident he had on an airplane.
“[For] Some people it’s really bad too. It goes on for years and years and years and they don’t even know about it. I was on a plane once and there was a guy behind me. I would hear ‘cccchhhhttt’ and ‘tchacha’ and I turned around and I was like ‘oh this poor bastard’. He was a big guy, like very overweight.
I was watching this guy lay there with his mouth open like this for a long time. And then finally he would jostle and catch some air. And he woke up and I said ‘hey man, do you know you have sleep apnea? And he’s like ‘what do you mean?’. And I said ‘ok, let me tell you what’s going on. I showed him my mouthpiece. I have this thing that I have to sleep with. It was a long flight that we were on. I said ‘you gotta go to a doctor and get that checked out’. He goes, ‘oh ok, thanks’, and I go ‘no really. You gotta go to a doctor. This thing, it’ll change your life man’.
It also affects people’s dietary choices. Because when you’re exhausted like that, like I know how I am. Last night I was tired. I came home from the Improv, it was like 1 in the morning. I should not have eaten but I was like ‘fuck it’ and I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 1 AM. I definitely shouldn’t have had that. I just felt like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a bad choice. But when you’re tired you make bad choices. Bad dietary choices, it’s very very common.
People are exhausted and overworked and I think that has to apply to people with sleep apnea. You’re always exhausted throughout the day. You’re just sucking down coffee and trying to stay awake.Joe Rogan, Joe Rogan Experience #1369
Bottom line: sleep apnea is a serious condition that you should definitely get treated. Untreated sleep apnea can cause a host of problems throughout your daily life due to not getting a full, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep. Getting this condition treated will have an immeasurable impact on your quality of life.