Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays today (and also Cyber Monday). Today is just a “Quick Sleep Apnea Update”.
Quick Sleep Apnea Update
I’ve kind of chronicled my sleep apnea journey for a little while now. It’s been rough for a little bit and I can understand why people would get frustrated with the process before ever giving it a chance.
That said, it’s been about a month since I started using the machine. I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’ve established some semblance of a new sleep time routine.
I think that is another thing that is kind of glazed over when people talk about using an APAP/CPAP machine. Your normal routine of just laying down to sleep and getting out of the bed in the morning are not the same anymore. It now requires a little bit of preparation to get the machine running and the mask on and fitting nicely. Additonally, when in bed, it may take you longer to get comfortable before you go to sleep.
It’s harder than you think…
These are all things on the learning curve that you will need to understand. I think this is also compounded by the fact that people with sleep apnea are sleep deprived to begin with. When you take an individual who doesn’t sleep well already and then tell them to add these things to help them sleep. It’s more difficult than you might think. Unfortunately, the only way to adapt to stick with it. This is why I think insurance companies set the whole 21 days in 30 days of 4+ hours of usage.
However, that is easier said than done. For some, those 4+ hours of usage may be completely sleepless. If you add on to the fact that these people already don’t sleep well and then basically say hey wear this mask and not sleep for 4+ hours a night to get used to it… it’s kind of a recipe for failure.
That said, it’s not really possible to do it any other way. In a perfect world, it would be preferable for someone to transition to using an APAP/CPAP machine and mask over the course of a week. This might make the transition easier since they would have more time to use the machine while not sleeping. For example more time could be spent watching TV or reading a book — just to get used to the sensation. However, for the majority of people this is not possible because people have to work. Who wants to “waste” a vacation on learning to use an APAP/CPAP machine?
So what changed?
I think humans are both very adaptable and creatures of habit. We can acclimate to things pretty well if there is a need to do so. After the first week or so, I kind of knew what to expect and then began to optimize around my APAP machine. I talked about that in my previous post.
Making cleaning the mask and hose easier was very helpful. Knowing how much distilled water to use and where to get it from was good. Then the pillow allowing me to sleep on my side again was also great. It wasn’t one particular thing. It’s kind of a like a lot of little things that are helpful that help you get you back to your routine.
That said, things aren’t perfect yet. I still get air leaks once in awhile from moving around in my sleep. However, I don’t have nearly as much trouble falling asleep or going back to sleep as I previously did.
Overall, I think I am doing better than I was before. I sleep maybe an hour or two less than before, but am able to get up in the morning without too much problem. I think that’s a good sign.
I’ll keep you guys updated.
Getting back to my sleep routine — but with APAP in tow.
I am hopeful that I can stick to it.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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