Thanks to CPAP We’re Sleeping Peacefully Together Again!

I’m Having Dreams Again – and I Have the Energy of a 40 Year-Old

Four years ago, when Nydia Glander was 72 and traveling in Spain with Don, her husband of 52 years, a health scare convinced her to visit her doctor upon their return to Holden Beach, North Carolina.

A stress test led to a sleep test, which showed Nydia had sleep apnea with over 400 apneas (breathing cessation/ gasping for air episodes) in a 5-hour period – not a restful night! These episodes may not awaken the person, but they do prevent deep REM sleep that’s so vital.

Like Nydia, most of the estimated 20 million Americans with sleep apnea don’t know they have it. They may be in bed for 8 hours each night, but are puzzled by chronic fatigue and other health issues brought on by lack of sleep. Snoring is the most visible (audible!) symptom.

“My snoring was so bad, it drove Don to sleep in another room,” say Nydia, a Cuban native. The couple who met in high school in Indiana and married while in college, lived in several states due to Don’s work. Nydia used her native Spanish to work as a translator for a big pharmaceutical maker, and since retiring, works as a translator for her County Health Dept., translating materials for Hispanic residents in the Myrtle Beach area.

“My mother was a snorer and I’m sure she had sleep apnea, though it wasn’t a named malady yet,” she says. “I’m sure many of my relatives have it, and the few who were tested and tried using CPAP gave up too soon. So when I was diagnosed, I promised Don and myself that I would succeed and beat this fatigue. It’s tricky getting used to the mask, and I had to convert from a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper,” Nydia smiles. “But I put my mind to it.”

There are numerous benefits to getting that all-important deep sleep again, says Nydia. “I’m dreaming again. I missed that. I have the energy of a 40 or 50 year-old -- Don wishes I didn’t! I can keep up with my two grandchildren. We travel. I’m active in our church, collect food and clothes for the needy, and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. I love my weekly classes in pilates, yoga and Zumba, and we’re active volunteers with the local turtle patrol.”

CPAP hasn’t slowed Nydia down. “I haven’t missed a night in the four years since I got my device. Even when we travel in the U.S. or overseas, I take my CPAP with me. I’m probably National Sleep Therapy’s best representative in all of North Carolina. Whenever the topic of a bad night’s sleep comes up, I sing the praises of my CPAP and National Sleep.”

“It’s gone so well, I’m back to being a stomach sleeper. But best of all, Don has moved back into our bedroom,” Nydia winks.

By Stanley Hurwitz /


National Sleep Therapy sponsors a free ‘CPAP Talk Live!’ virtual support session on the first Wednesday of each month from 7 – 8 pm (ET). It is open to all, including CPAP users, people who have sleep issues, health care professionals, and anyone else interested in the topic. For more information: 888.867.8840, or Company website: Also see:

Photo Note: Nydia loves her dogs: “The little dog is Mia....because our brains were ‘missing in action’ when we bought her in Miami. She sleeps in her dog bed and takes turns in our bed also. Ellie does not care where she sleeps as long as she is near her masters. When I started using the face mask, Mia used to bark at me every night!” That’s husband Don holding Ellie.

Former Bodybuilding Champ Advises Sleep Apnea Patients

‘Big Mike’ Katz Describes His Triumph Over Apnea in Virtual Support Session

National Sleep Therapy Event Draws Sleep-Deprived from 8 States

A former international bodybuilding champ who was diagnosed with sleep apnea 10 years ago fielded a range of heavyweight questions during a recent ‘CPAP Talk – Live!’ virtual support session that drew people with sleep issues from eight states. Participants represented all of New England plus Virginia and Maryland.

There was no ‘heavy lifting’ for the erudite ‘Big Mike’ Katz who gained fame for his role in the 1977 ‘Pumping Iron’ documentary starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also briefly played for the New York Jets. Now 70, Katz wants to tell the world how CPAP impacted his life, and wants to encourage and inspire others to get tested. And if CPAP is prescribed, he urges them to keep with the therapy.

Wherever he goes, the well-rested and jovial Katz takes along his CPAP: “I know the value of a good night’s sleep. But most important, I don’t want to sleep through my grandkids’ childhood – waking up when they’re 16, wondering where the time went.”

Some questions were phoned in, others came via email:
  • A 72 year-old caller, also a former football player and weightlifter, talked about his need to cut back on his exercise routine. Something Katz knows a lot about, suggested that the caller, with his doctor’s OK, should continue his training program with lighter weights but more reps, perhaps 15-20. “Set a realistic bar so you don’t allow failure, and don’t rest. Keep up a circuit cardio weight training routine,” said Katz, a personal trainer who still vigorously works out. “The key: Less rest between exercises. Make it more aerobic.” 
  • Another participant asked if sleep apnea can be cured. Host Eric Cohen, President of National Sleep Therapy, replied that factors that change, such as weight loss, can improve the condition, but CPAP is a treatment, not a cure. Cohen emphasized, “It’s critical to resolve your apneas, regularly check your sleep records, and stay in touch with your sleep doctor. 
  • One questioner wanted secrets to getting comfortable with her sleep apnea regimen and equipment. Cohen, a trained engineer who has invented products for the sleep industry among others, said, “For some folks it’s not easy getting used to the CPAP mask and machine. Whatever the difficulty, there a variety of headgear and masks. You need to try until you find the right fit. It’s worth the effort.”
  • A 64 year-old Vietnam vet with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome said he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since age 18: “I’ve used CPAP for five years but I still can’t go through a full night’s sleep and I’m always tired.” Katz suggested the caller see his doctor for pressure adjustments based on his CPAP device’s data readings. Katz said, “My machine’s pressure has been adjusted many times and my sleep company has recalibrated the CPAP machine when called for.” Cohen added that “there may be other factors impacting sleep. This is very common and something you should see a sleep specialist about.”
The well-rested Katz is a very active and engaged grandfather who hasn’t slowed down a wink: A trainer who owns five fitness centers, and travels extensively to judge bodybuilding competitions. The retired health education teacher described how chronic fatigue forced him to have a sleep test, which showed he had sleep apnea: “I learned I was having almost 50 apnea episodes per hour and my oxygen levels were dropping dramatically.” His doctor prescribed CPAP therapy.

Some 18 million Americans have sleep apnea but only a small percent have been diagnosed. Left untreated, lack of proper sleep can result in accidents and serious illness.


The free ‘CPAP Talk Live!’ program, held on the first Wednesday of each month from 7 – 8 pm (ET), is open to individuals who use CPAP for sleep apnea or other sleep issues, health care professionals, and anyone else interested in the topic. For more information: 888.867.8840, or Company website: Also see: