I am delighted to learn that you have discussed a sleep study with a doctor — I hope, one who is a sleep specialist, since the study of sleep medicine is brand-new and even young general practitioners mostly only know enough about sleep medicine to be dangerous, that is, dismissive of real problems, especially for women. FYI, about your belief that you wake up enough to become conscious when you’re really in trouble: during a sleep study they take an EEG to monitor the stages of sleep — the EEG shows spikes when the brain sends a signal to wake up enough to open the airway, if you have obstructive sleep apnea. You almost never wake up enough to become conscious after an apnea, and there can be hundreds of these episodes a night, so don’t be lulled into a sense of false security if you do wake up gasping from time-to-time.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, recent research shows that the episodes of hypoxia do cause brain damage, especially to the center for organizational abilities. Also, as a writer, you might find the dysphasia particularly annoying. I don’t think insurance covers any therapy for it, the way they do for people who have had strokes. I assure you that recovery is very challenging.
If you are sleeping through loud alarm clocks, you are sleep-deprived. Something is wrong.
Regarding bread machines, I use the Breadman TR-875 and like it very much. I ordered it from NewEgg.com. It comes with recipes.
About your heirloom tomato question: you can grow any heirloom tomato in a container as long as it is big enough — at least 15 gallons. Do be sure it has good drainage and use potting soil — Miracle-Gro’s is good and affordable. Commercial self-watering containers are pricey, but excellent. Also, at least six hours of direct sun most days is a must. Cage or stake the vines. My favorite heirloom cherry tomatoes are Wild Cherry, aka Matt’s Wild Cherry, and Galina’s Yellow Cherry, although you certainly will want to consider Camp Joy, too. My absolute favorite tomato is Brandywine, Sudduth’s strain. I also like Berkeley Tie Dye and Orange Russian 117 — if you are going to go to the trouble, grow something that is delicious AND will WOW people visually. If you want lots of fried green tomatoes, get an indeterminate hybrid for their prolific production since their tomatoes will be delicious cooked and it won’t matter that if you let them ripen they would taste like baseballs. Among hybrids, Jet Star and Lemon Boy are considered respectable by heirloom tomato growers.