Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Dr. Sleeplove, or How I Learned to Start Breathing and Love the CPAP

I took a half-day off on Friday so that I could go to the 2pm setup class at the clinic and get my device. This was relatively straight forward, as there were only 5 of us, and we had a good time sharing stories of our studies when the tech was out of the room. The unit they provided us was a ResMed S8 Compact, which seems to be an unremarkable but noncontroversial machine, from the research I’ve done since. (I still intend to followup on laurel‘s excellent advice, but for now, I figured I’d take what was given and not waste time.

As most people warned me, it is going to take some getting used to. The whole “there’s something strapped to my face” feeling really doesn’t phase me, but I’m finding that I’m hyper-conscious of my breathing at first. I’ll actually be thinking “Ok, breathe in…..and out……and in….and out.” Other than that, I don’t seem to have too many problems with it insofar as it being a distraction from falling asleep.

The other thing that’s going to take some getting used to is that I seem to only be sleeping in 3-4 hour increments. After about that much time, I’m waking up, and finding myself too wired to go back to sleep. So I’ll get up for about an hour or so, then try to go back to bed, and often succeed for another 2-3 hours. My co-worker Tim has suggested that I will probably find that I don’t actually need as much sleep as I used to, since the sleep I’m getting is higher quality, and he may turn out to be right. i would not actually mind a couple of extra hours in my day!

Of course, the bottom line, and the most important thing, is that I’m feeling a ton better after sleep, regardless of the length of time I actually spend doing it. When I wake up, I find I’m instantly awake, and no longer feel like I’m having to push a large weight off of my brain. While I don’t have the “bursting with energy like an ADD ferret on meth” sensation that some people reported after their first experience, I am feeling less fatigued, more alert, and generally more upbeat as a result.

Ultimate verdict: I think this is going to be a good thing.

Thanks to everyone who posted with encouragement, suggestions, resources, or just shared experiences. I really appreciated all of it.

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20 Comments

  1. bursting with energy like an ADD ferret on meth

    *giggle* Darn, I wish I’d though of that phrase.

  2. I laughed out loud at your title there. *G*

  3. Yay! I’m so glad you’re seeing good results! *hug*

  4. I’ve found that five to six hours is usually plenty for me… where I used to sleep 9 or 10 and not get enough…

  5. You lucky, you got a travel model!

  6. LOL at the title! 🙂

    I’m very glad you’re feeling better after sleep now -- that’s how it *should* feel when waking up, after all… 🙂 *hug*

  7. ADD ferret on meth

    ADD squirrel on caffiene, aka The Hedge?

  8. When I wake up, I find I’m instantly awake, and no longer feel like I’m having to push a large weight off of my brain.

    Yeah. That’s great! That’s how waking up should be. That’s how it is for me during the summer (usually) or in the winter when I’m using the SAD light regularly… which, due to the recent travel, I haven’t been, so much. Sigh.

    Here’s to your health!

  9. That’s great, I’m glad it’s helping so much.

    How does one find out if one has sleep apnea, or some similar breathing-type issue during sleep? I tried to raise the idea once with someone else, but he wasn’t very receptive — he didn’t feel he personally fit the profile/symptoms, and I’m not any good at nagging esp if I’m not sure of my ground. Of course he doesn’t know what he does (or doesn’t) sound like while sleeping. *sigh* :/

    • There are several obvious warning signs. Loud, constant, wall-rattling snoring is the one that fits all sleep apnea patients. We snore, and it doesn’t matter what position we’re sleeping in, but sleeping on the back is the worst.

      Folks who develop sleep apnea are often overweight, but sometimes (like in my case) it is a combination of softening of the soft palette (roof and back of the mouth), small face with little chin, and slight overbite.

      Because the person suffering from sleep apnea’s brain is getting regularly starved for oxygen, the brain sends desperate signals to wake the body up. This can sometimes manifest in horrific dreams where one is strangling, choking or drowning. But, for the most part, the sleep apnea patient just doesn’t get the deep REM sleep that lets the brain recover at the end of the day. So…very few dreams at all.

      And that person, because their brain is waking them up 20 -- 100+ times an hour (even if they don’t remember getting awakened), doesn’t feel rested in the morning. They nod off frequently during the day. Sleep apnea can lead to heart attacks and strokes, but most of the people who die because of it do so in car accidents. They fall asleep at the wheel.

      The best thing for a person who thinks that they might have sleep apnea is to go for a sleep study.

    • pretty well answered the question, but let me strongly support her suggestion that the person get a sleep study done. There are other sleeping disorders which a sleep study can diagnose, so even if it’s not sleep apnea, it could be something else, and if it turns out to be nothing, then you have valuable empirical data to prove it.

  10. YAY!!

    I’m very glad it is working out for you.

  11. I think I need to ask you about how to get sleep study done. The idea of being awake and alert and full of energy is…inconceivable.

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