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Adventures in Sleep

CPAP Delivers the Goods

Published July 18, 2013 10:32 AM by Penny Mehaffey

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have started using CPAP at home. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the difference it is making. I have a very mild apnea index of 3 and a snore of 7, so I was skeptical about what benefit I would see, but I decided to try it for a few weeks.

I am so glad that I did! The first change was the snoring. It's gone, completely. The second noticeable change for me was the yawning. No matter how much sleep I got or how good I felt in the mornings, I still yawned all day long. Not now though. The urge to yawn may not hit me until late afternoon/early evening around 5 to 6pm.

And coffee, it was my favorite beverage, but now I may not even think about the second cup. This is pretty big. I viewed those who boasted they only consumed "one cup in the mornings" as two-headed monsters. Really? ONE cup? Something must be wrong with me ... I don't run out of energy before I run out of day. Some days I even feel like I could outlast that little bunny. My skin tone is more even, my eyes are clearer. 

All of which is no surprise to any of us really. We know that CPAP works. But now I really know. And I will continue to use my CPAP. I will be a better coach too. Now I understand when someone tells me the mask just comes off in the middle of the night. It's true, it does. But this is nothing to lose sleep over. Stick it back on and keep on sleeping. And I would say give yourself permission to take a break from CPAP if you need it. I may take mine off an hour or so before the alarm goes off, or start my sleep period without cpap and put it on a little later.

I am glad I took the CPAP challenge and would do it again in heartbeat. Mild apnea is still significant enough to negatively impact our lives, but sadly the majority of us will just ignore the signs, bearing out the statistics for undiagnosed and untreated OSA. As a sleep professional, I would encourage you to try some of these things we are asking of our patients. It will make for a very interesting learning experience.

posted by Penny Mehaffey
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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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