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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 11:24 GMT
Cure found for 20 sleepless years
Philip Skeates: Photo courtesy of Swindon Advertiser
Mr Skeates stopped breathing 90 times an hour during the night Photo from Swindon Advertiser
A man who averaged just 14 minutes a night sleep for nearly 20 years because of a medical disorder has been cured.

Philip Skeates, 39, has sleep apnoea, which causes his airways to become blocked, causing him to snore loudly and leaving him exhausted every day.

Doctors at Great Western Hospital in Swindon monitored him and found he stopped breathing 90 times an hour.

A machine with a mask which helps open up breathing passages now helps him get up to seven hours sleep a night.

'Totally refreshed'

"My wife had enough of me snoring and I had to go to the GP and I was referred to the hospital," he said.

"They did a sleep study where they wire you from head to toe and watch you sleep and it was revealed I had one of the worst cases they'd seen.

"I stopped breathing 90 times an hour and I was getting an average of 14 minutes sleep a night."

He said that since he began using the continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) machine, life had improved immensely.

"I go to bed at about 11 or 12 and I'm up at 6.30 or 7, totally refreshed.

"It's a knock on effect for my wife and children. I'm more happy, I was really quite grumpy and very, very tired. Its made a massive impact for all of us."

"When I think back, I had a car accident when I fell asleep at the wheel. I've got major spinal problems so I can't work, but [the machine] has made a massive impact on my life."

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