Saturday, October 11, 2008

Insomnia

I hate it.

Actually, I have always been weird about going to bed. I just seem to hate the thought of winding down and going to sleep.Maybe I feel like I am going to miss something...I don't know.

When I started having more and more symptoms of sleep apnea I really began dreading going to bed, knowing that I would feel even more tired after a night of gasping for air than if I would just stay up all night awake, but breathing normally.

As far as the sleep apnea goes, I am doing well w/ the cpap machine. But I am still dealing w/ insomnia several nights a week.

A few tips for the cpap(the one that goes over your nose specifically)~

If you have a tv in the bedroom, put the mask on and watch tv before laying down.

If you are laying down to go to sleep and feel like you can't catch your breath with the mask on, let some air out by sticking a finger between the mask and your face. You can breathe and when you fall asleep, your hand will slip down and the mask will then be on your face correctly.

Don't give up. Leaving sleep apnea untreated can shorten your life. Even wearing it part of the night is better than not using it at all.

I thought I would NEVER get used to it. And then I started becoming more and more comfortable, but I would still take it off in my sleep. I have recently started leaving it on for most of the night.

I haven't slept well for YEARS, so it feels great to finally get some deep sleep.

2 comments:

joe said...

I have been a snorer for a long time. As I got older, my snoring has gotten more frequent and louder. I also noticed I was tired a lot and liked to take naps during the day. People complained about my snoring and I could not sleep in the same room with other people for fear of keeping them awake.

Finally, I asked my doctor about the problem and he had me try out a CPAP machine. The doc said my airway was closing up to 70 times each hour, and that I stopped breathing for as long as one full minute at a time! He strongly recommended I start using the CPAP machine, since I was damaging my heart due to lack of oxygen.

I had read about CPAP machines before and always thought I would never be able to sleep with one, since I am somewhat claustrophobic. Surprisingly, it only took me a few minutes to get used to, and I was able to sleep comfortably from the very beginning with no problem.

The mask portion is just a small apparatus that fits on the nostrils to blow in air that keeps the throat inflated, thus preventing any snoring. Straps over the head are a little annoying, but they are necessary to keep the nose piece in place. If one changes sleeping positions at night, it’s possible for these straps to move, causing the nose piece to slip off.

I have been using a Dreamhelmet, a combination sleep mask sound-muffling pillow for years now, for sleeping at night and for napping during the day. I always find it hard to sleep without the Dreamhelmet, and I was afraid I would not be able to use it with the CPAP mask, but I was wrong about that too.

After I slept with the CPAP machine and mask for a short while, I tried wearing the Dreamhelmet over the CPAP, covering up the straps – voila, it worked like a charm! I found that the Dreamhelmet actually helps keep the straps in place when I change positions, so now I can sleep all night in comfort, not being bothered by sound, light, or changing positions. The CPAP and the Dreamhelmet are the perfect sleeping combination for me.

I now wake up rested, and I have energy that lasts all day long. I don’t feel so run down all the time or feel like I need an afternoon nap, but I still carry an extra Dreamhelmet in the car with me just in case I do need a nap.

Jennifer Sr. said...

Thank you for your comment, Joe! I will definitely look into the dreamhelmet.

I can't remember how many times I stopped breathing, I remember it was HIGH, more than once every minute.