NOTE: This is not intended to be any sort of  medical 
advice -- but merely a description of the method I used 
to determine whether I did or did not have sleep apnea*.

Here's an example of a short, few minute section, of my results:

Members of my family have sleep apnea and I often suspected 
that I might also have the affliction. The proper course of 
action, of course, is to have your doctor refer you to a 
sleep-clinic for definitive results.

I used the following very simple method of checking and 
determined that I do not suffer from sleep-apnea.

I have a very neat "IRiver" brand MP3 player/recorder I found at 
Salvation Army for a few dollars (they list upwards of a couple 
hundred dollars new). One nice thing about this is that it will 
make a recording that lasts many hours. Even an antiquated 
cassette recorders can be used if a 90 or 120 minute tape is used.

In a nutshell, all I did was to tape this recorder to my bed 
headboard, just a foot or so from my head and let it run for 
about 4 hours as I slept.

In the morning, I downloaded the 4 hours into my computer 
as an MP3 file.

I can think of a whole lot of things I'd rather do than to have 
to listen to 4 hours of snoring, snorting and huffing in order 
to see if you have big gaps where you don't breathe (the tell-tale 
symptom of sleep apnea). Fortunately, a very very neat free MP3 
manipulating program called "Audacity" came to the rescue. 
Audacity is available as an absolutely free download at this URL: It's great for tons of 
other musical editing/manipulating projects & is very simple to use.

Once into Audacity, I hit "edit" then "select all" then "effects", 
then "amplify" then UNcheck the "dont allow clipping" box (audio 
idelity is not at all important here) & then entered "15" in the 
"amplification (db)" window. Then I hit ok.

By clicking on the "magnify" (+) key a number of times, I can 
easily see each breath (or snore) displayed in graphical form.  
It takes a few minutes to view each of the many screens of 
snoring/breathing, but in the end, I saw NO evidence that I 
stopped breathing even for a few seconds. Apnea would have stood 
out like a sore thumb, as unusually long gaps between breaths.

This testing method really works. With the "amplification (db)" 
level jacked up to 15 or 20, even the softest of breaths still 
make distinct visible peaks..

Dennis Havlena - W8MI
northern Michigan

* Sleep apnea is a quite common sleep disorder where you have 
periodic or regular pauses in breathing while you sleep.
Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. 
They can occur up to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, 
normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud 
snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea is generally a chronic, 
ongoing condition that disrupts your sleep on a regular basis. 
This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the 
day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of daytime sleepiness. 

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