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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

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Oblong_Jimmy

Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Oblong_Jimmy » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:00 pm

Hi,

I've recently been diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnoea, and need to trial a c-pap machine to see how this works.

First, a bit about me, i'm 35, male, 6ft 2" and about 17stone, so slightly overweight, but not massive. I've struggled with tiredness all my life, but i always put this down to lifestyle and diet. However, a while ago my partner noticed i appeared to stop breathing during my sleep and as we looked into it worked out i might have sleep apnoea.

Got checked out, found i do have it and, after a 3 week wait, now have my pap machine that i am trialling from the NHS to see if it will help out.

I've got a Resmed autoset spirit (i think, need to check the name when i get home from work) with a nose mask, again a Resmed but not sure of the name. I wanted a full face mask before i had my appointment, but came out with the nose mask. The Nurse/Technician I saw was very nice, very helpful and went through all the different types of masks etc. and the nose only mask seemed to fit best, so went with that. Had a little shock when trying to speak whilst trying it out though, won't be doing that again!

Had my first night with it last night, I was planning on wearing it for a while in bed whilst watching TV or playing on my vita so i got used to it more, but unfortunately I can't wear my glasses with the mask and i'm as blind as a bag of badgers without them so that idea went right out of the window! I had a quick play with the settings before i used it, i really wanted to see if it would tell me the percentage of leakage (if any) and the amount of apnoea episodes per night. Unfortunately i don't think it will display this information but will have a search later to see if i can retrieve this as I wanted to update this journal with leak amount/episodes each day to see how it's working. I hope i don't have to wait the full 4 weeks to see if it's working to it's full potential.

Actually using the machine, well it was set for a 45 minute settling time, so i put the mask on, set it going and settled down on my back. After a couple of minutes i had an overwhelming urge to breathe out of my mouth, which obviously didn't go well and made me panic a bit, so i ripped the mask off and got my breath back. Felt like stopping all together until i could get a full face mask, but decided to give it another shot and forcefully breathed through my nose and kept my mouth shut.

That seemed to work, after a couple of minutes i got used to it and got over my need to open my mouth. Once that passed i actually found it quite relaxing, reminds me of meditating using breathing techniques, so I focused on just breathing in and out. I could feel myself getting more and more tired, like i was on a ledge of sleepiness and then a wave would come and move me to the next ledge down, along with feelings of euphoria which i wasn't expecting. Not sure what that was about, but i'm guessing it was my brain celebrating that it didn't need to wake me up to start breathing again ;p

I was awake for the entire settling period, as i remember the machine really powering up after a while, but soon after that i must have fallen asleep, don't really remember anything apart from everything going black for a second and then waking up around 4:30am to go to the toilet. Came back after that, put the settling down to 10 minutes as i didn't want to wait for ages to go back to sleep, although i must have fallen asleep pretty much straight away again as everything went black for a second and then my alarm was going off to get up. Ended up taking the mask off then and lounging in bed for 15-20 minutes as i had excessive wind (which i hope my body adjusts to!) and i had a pretty bad cough (not sure if that's due to the machine or if i ended up trying to breathe through my mouth whilst asleep) again which i hope my body gets used to.

The machine does show the usage amount, and that was showing 8.43 hours, i think it was already on 0.43 before i started using it, so looks like i got 8 hours usage on my first night, which is pretty solid i think.

I did feel pretty awful when i first awoke, due to the coughing and the wind, but during the day it's worn off (the cough lasted about an hour or so). I do feel tired but not the crushing tiredness i usually feel during the day and still feel i have a bit of energy to actually do something when i get home, rather than wanting to go straight for a lie down. Hopefully if i keep up the usage i'll start to feel even more awake during the day which will enable me to hopefully work on what I want to do with my life, rather than struggling in the job i'm doing now.

Stay tuned to see how my second night goes. Hopefully will be as good, or better than the first!

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Sleep2Snore
General Snorer
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Sleep2Snore » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:26 pm

8 hours on your first night is very good.
You will still feel tired for a few days, but that will improve.
Were you shown Nasal Pillows, they might have allowed you to put on glasses whilst having a mask on. Looks as if you are doing well on the first night.
If you have problems with opening your mouth you could try a chin strap.
I used to breath through my mouth about 40% if the time when I was sleeping and had to train myself to breath through my mouth. Yes, it can be done.
If you find your mouth dries out it will be either you are breathing out of your mouth or that air is escaping out of it while you are asleep.
If you get dryness in your nose it will be the dry air that is causing it, if you have a humidifier turn it up, or if you don't have one ask for one.

Welcome to the world of Hoseheads.

S2S


I will be looking in to see how you are getting on :)
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Oblong_Jimmy

Re: Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Oblong_Jimmy » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:28 pm

Whoops, haven't had chance to update, better fix that!

Firstly, i wasn't shown nasal pillows, so i don't think they were an option. I may look into them however.

Thursday night didn't go too well, took me about 3 hours to fall asleep, constantly fiddling with the mask, seemed to be chucking out an excessive amount of air from the front valve, which made me concerned i wasn't getting enough in, kept waking up and generally not having a great time with it. Ended up feeling so rotten the next morning i didn't go into work, although i did manage another couple of hours with it in the afternoon which did make me feel a bit better.

Friday night went really well, straight on at 11pm, must have fallen asleep pretty quickly, slept till about 8:30am, think i might have woken up once or twice but i can't really remember. Felt pretty good when i woke up and didn't have a sore throat, so that helped.

Saturday night, another weird night, think i might have done something to reduce the pressure, or something has happened to reduce it, doesn't seem to ramp up as much or provide as much air when i'm asleep, although this could be just me getting used to it. Plenty of mask adjusting before falling asleep and waiting for the settling time to run out to see what would happen. Woke up about 8:30am again on Sunday, got some stuff done, but ended up falling asleep during the Leeds vs Birmingham game, which was annoying.

Sunday night, went to bed at 11pm again, quite quickly fell asleep, woke up about 4:30am without my mask on (not just come off, hung up where i keep it when not in bed with the machine turned off) which i don't remember doing, so put it back on, was awake for the settling period and don't remember the pressure getting any stronger, so will need to look into this before bed tonight. Not feeling so bad today, Bit tired in the afternoon but nto as tired as i usually am. Think i could go to sleep quite easily when i get home from work though, which isn't as good.

Really wishing there was a way i could see the sleep data on my machine, I've got an appointment on the 19th November or so to see, but i don't wanna wait that long to see if it's working!

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Sleep2Snore
General Snorer
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:13 pm

If you have a computer and I suppose you must have, but these days with smart phones you are never sure.
You can download Sleepyhead software and get a card reader to read the data off the card. You still have to understand it though.
Keep trying, a lot is trial and error, but it does look as if you are almost getting there.
A cold can make it difficult to breath through a Nasal Mask or Nasal Pillows.
I used to keep a full-faced mask for such events, but I just put some vapour rub in a milk bottle top near the air intake of the machine, or some use other types of vapour oils, but do not block the intake for the air or put it on the filter itself.

You did the right thing by putting the mask straight on when you found you had taken it off. It is the only way you will come to accept it.
You can sit at night with the mask on and the pipe disconnected, but I think you may be beyond this stage.
Keep on trying, if you have any questions please feel free to ask. :)
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Oblong_Jimmy

Re: Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Oblong_Jimmy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:28 pm

I've got a PC and plenty of card readers, so i might see about pulling out the card and seeing if i can read the data, although i might just leave it for the trial, whilst i don't see the actual results but, due to reasons i'll go into below, it may not be neccessary.

I did mean to post every day and i would have if i was getting results per night for a record of what was happening, but as i don't i keep forgetting to post, but not for any bad reasons.

I'll go through a brief overview of each night since Monday, So Monday night went OK i think, i woke up a bit but generally kept the mask on which seemed to be fine. Wasn't sure i was getting any benefits as i woke up feeling pretty groggy, but kept with it through Tuesday night. Unfortunately i decided it would be a good idea to fiddle with the strap positioning on the mask to see if i could make it a bit more comfortable. Turns out I can't and ended up with it being fairly uncomfortable on the bottom near my top lip. Was fiddling about with it for about an hour, so got to bed about 12ish, not sure exactly when i went to sleep but was within the 30 minute settling period. Woke up about 5am and flitted in and out of sleep until i had to get up for work. Felt OK during the day, which was nice, as i've not felt OK for quite some time.

Wednesday night started more of the same, more fiddling with the mask to try and get it comfortable, but getting fustrated as i couldn't get it so that it was comfortable & not leaking, so ended up settling for not leaking and trying to get some sleep. Got to sleep quite quickly and slept till about 6am, felt a little tired when i got up, but definitly woke up during the day and actually felt good, which was a really nice surprise. Work went well and didn't want to just go to sleep when i got home, so did some things i've been putting off then watched Django Unchained, usually I'd have fallen asleep during the film or find it difficult to focus on the screen as I end up getting a double vision effect. This time though watched the entire film (great film btw!) and could easily focus on the screen, even though i was lying down, so that was really good as that was one thing that annoyed me that i didn't realise was down to being so tired all the time.

Last night also started off the same, with mask issues. (i've been through the manual i got with the mask, but either i'm not getting it or have an abnormally shaped head) So i'm going to see if there any youtube videos available demonstrating how to fit the mask, ended up with no leakage that i could tell and it being a little uncomfortable, but again got to sleep within the 30 minute settling period, this time though i ended up sleeping all the way through until my alarm went off. Felt a little tired when i got up, but have been feeling pretty fantastic throughout the day. I really feel like i could take on anything at the moment, which is a really nice feeling after years of feeling like crap. I think the main problem with sleep apnoea (well, apart from the health risks) is that it's a gradual thing that builds up and and up and affects not just your health but also changes what you feel you can achieve and your confidence etc. My brain is feeling a little tired at the moment, but that's probably due to the working week, but my body seems to have so much energy at the moment I don't know what to do with it! I have joined a gym so I should be able to burn off some of the energy there whilst also getting fitter and losing weight, which will also help out matters.

I have been trying to keep to a sleep schedule, so going to bed about 11pm, waking up around 6:45-7:00am even on the weekends and also trying to eat at the same time also. It used to be that i wouldn't eat my tea until about 7 or 8, after i've had a nap and worked up the energy to do cook, however since getting the mask i'm finding it much more beneficial to eat around 5-5:30ish and then have a little snack for supper if i'm still hungry. I've also cut out caffiene in a big way, so i'll only have 1 can of coke at lunch at the most, rather than loads of energy and sugary drinks. Those are the only changes i've made so far, but I am going to start going to the gym, hopefully a couple of times a week and also try to eat healthier which i think will all help too.

So, if i can get the mask issue sorted so it's a bit more comfortable, that will be awesome, but if i have to endure a little discomfort when trying to get to sleep to feel this good then i think i can live with that. If this is as good as i feel then i can also live with that, because at the moment it's pretty awesome. If i feel any better from any other changes/continued mask use then that will just be grand!

Lastly, i have also noticed that i used to wake up with a really bad dead arm quite often, which i put down to sleeping on it, but could have been due to the lack of oxygen from the apnoea, along with having various aches and pains in my chest, which i thought was just due to getting older. These seem to have also stopped since using cpap, so hopefully i won't have to deal with those again, either!

All in all, i'm pretty happy with the treatment so far. I'm just hoping it keeps up and that the results from the machine collaborate my feelings. Time will tell on that one i guess!

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Sleep2Snore
General Snorer
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Journey into the wonderful world of Sleep

Post by Sleep2Snore » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:58 pm

You appear to be getting on quite well and have the right frame of mind.
Masks are usually the biggest problem, it is just a matter of finding the right one for yourself.
Do you know what make and model of mask you have?
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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