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Sleep Diary
Bar Harbor
My CPAP unit finally arrived last night. What with one delay and another, it's been over six months since I decided "I really need to do something about my sleep problems." Still, slow progress is better than none.

The fellow who brought it was very... glib. He explained everything clearly and efficiently, but I got the strong impression he was glossing some stuff over. When he got to the part of the process which involved filling out tons of forms, he made an offhand remark that the paperwork was "almost like buying a car or something." My immediate reaction was, yeah, and I wouldn't actually buy a car from someone like you.

He said that it takes most people about a month to get fully used to it, and not to be upset if I could only wear it for four or five hours the first few nights. After about that much time, I woke up to go the bathroom, and didn't hook it up again afterwards. I did have weird dreams *about* the CPAP for much of the remaining night.

Free electric plugs are a bit hard to come by next to the bed, so I had unhooked my quiet noise machine to plug in the CPAP. Big mistake. The CPAP is actually extremely quiet, even when it's fully on and no competition for the chirpy birds outside my window at dawn. So there was some grumpy fumbling around to get the white noise machine plugged back in and stretched awkwardly across my bed. It's a good thing kestrell and I have separate bedrooms.

My hope is that once I'm adjusted to this, my sleep quality improves enough to get in an extra hour or so a day. I could really use it. I've just finished reading the Nebula Awards collection that included the novella version of "Beggars in Spain"; while I have a number of problems with that story, I have nothing but sympathy for the basic urge behind it: "I want more *time*!"


Day 2: Managed 6 hours in the mask last night, which bodes well for quick adjustment. Had an alarm glitch, but still woke up at my usual time, after a total of 10 hours. So at least it doesn't seem to be *costing* me much if any rest. I remain alternately hopeful and skeptical that it will gain me some in the end.

Can't say it's a pleasant experience, though. Makes my mouth dry up something fierce, and makes my ears pop like I was in an airplane. The process of breathing with the mask on is just weird; You take breaths by relaxing, but have to keep up a steady amount of effort to *exhale*. It's surprising that one can sleep at all under such circumstances. But it works somehow.


Day 3: A full night under the mask! Nine hours, which is within normal variation for me. Definitely starting to get used to it.

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If your CPAP doesn't have a humidifer, get one. IF it does, fill it and turn it up another setting.

YMMV; I loved it since starting it about 10 months ago, and I'm noe consistently well-rested after about 6 hours of sleep. I used to need 8-10.

No, you used to *take* 8-10 hours of sleep, but you weren't getting what you *needed*. :)

Now he just needs and gets 5-6 hours per night and is perky and wide-awake the rest of the day. His results were immediate and dramatic, but he was pretty far gone with the apnea before he got the machine. His setting is 18! And yes, he spends some of his extra awake time reading.

Sorry your respiration tech was a slick salesman type. DSR has North Atlantic Medical, and the techs have all been great and the paperwork very minimal.

Does your CPAP have the c-flex option? It lowers the pressure when you exhale to make it easier.

Good luck and good sleep!

Does your CPAP have the c-flex option?

I don't know, but will investigate.

Thanks for the info, and the good wishes!

It does have a humidifier, and I will try turning it up.

I, too, had serious trouble with dry mouth and sinuses before attaching a humidifier to the mix.

I slept with one from 1994 to 2006. I actually used a succession of machines, but the next-to-last one lasted for 7-8 years before it needed replacing. My overall experience was that I adjusted quickly and easily, but the choice of mask is critical. They all fit somewhat differently, and the beard complicates using some of them. I could never accommodate to the ones that use nasal "pillows." Another thing, I needed to get a new mask about once a year. They are definitely expendables.

About a year ago, I began wondering if I still needed the CPAP. About 7 months ago I decided to try sleeping without it. Nice surprise: after losing 185 pounds, I no longer need the CPAP, and I finally sent it back just a month ago. (The supplier needed a doctor's order to accept the return, too!)

You're lucky to have a quiet machine, I find my BiPap machine is noisy enough to be irritating.

Which mask did you get? With my beard and facial structure, I found the ResMed Nasal Pillows work best for me.

Sadly, I'm too chronically congested to be able to get by with just a nasal fitting.

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