Hi Morgan. Welcome to the forum! I can certainly relate to what you describe. I was diagnosed a number of years ago with sleep apnea. Prior to diagnosis and treatment, I fell asleep while driving. Thank goodness nobody was hurt, but that was my wake up call to talk to my doctor about how tired I was. I had a lot of difficulty staying awake unless I was moving around. It was not uncommon for me to fall asleep if I was doing anything that required me to sit still. I almost never made it through a movie, and I often fell asleep while reading. Treatment definitely improved my ability to stay awake, and I am much less tired now that my sleep apnea is treated. Losing weight seems to be easier because I have more energy, but I would not say that treatment of my sleep apnea actually caused weight loss. My general mood also improved quite a bit. While treatment for me was initially challenging, I eventually succeeded and have used my CPAP for well over 10 years now. Best wishes with your second sleep study, and please keep us posted on your progress. The forum is a great place for support if you have questions!
There is a correlation between needing sleep and feeling hungry--the same parts of the brain are at work. When you crave sleep, you may also crave food. Plus, if you are tired all the time, chances are you are not as physically active either. In my case, my apnea also affected my ability to learn anything new, my memory of how to do my job, my creativity, my problem-solving ability and it also caused depression. When I finally saw a doctor due to the depression, he told me I needed to do a sleep study. It took 2 1/2 months to get in because they were so busy, but when I had it, they told me the reason I could not learn anything new was because I had no deep sleep and long term memories are only formed in deep sleep. The reason I was depressed was because I could not dream and the mind needs to dream, otherwise you get depressed. Back then, they didn't tell me about the correlation between sleep apnea and clogging of the arteries and shortly after I got my machine, I needed a quadruple by-pass due to my clogged heart arteries. That was 12 years ago and since I got my first machine, I have missed about 6 nights. My machine changed my life and all my abilities I had relied on came back--good memory, creativity, problem solving abilities, quick learner. I was already exercising and trying to do physically healthy things, but it became easier to stay up with this when well rested. My last stress test in March of this year showed no clogged arteries, so everything seems to be the way it should be. I like getting the score each night from my Airsense10. My most frequent score is 100, followed by 99, then 98, etc. My most frequent AHI is .5, followed by .2. I rely on the leakage score to give me a clue if it is time to replace the nose piece or adjust my straps. And I love feeling rested and mentally sharp again.
Wow, thank you both so much for all your input and experience. I really appreciate when people help out and respond. I just had my second sleep study done- with my CPAP and now I am just waiting for my machine to pickup. I am very excited to use it. How long on average does it take to start feeling it work? Also, have you noticed it was hard losing weight before you had a machine? Did it get easier to lose weight once you got your CPAP? Thanks!
Hi Morgan, My story is similar to yours. Decreased performance in my work, inability to retain information/data for problem solving, huge weight gain (despite training for and competing in several triathlons per year.) I, like you, was anxious and excited about the CPAP, and was hoping for an IMMEDIATE improvement. Well, two months in, I can say that the improvement was not been instantaneous, but slow and steady. For the first month or so I really struggled. It was much harder to adjust to the machine than I thought it would be. Having these boards really helped me a lot. As for the weight loss: I am waiting until the three month check up to weigh myself. In the mean time, I've noticed that I don't feel as inclined to snack all the time. I won't say the weight is melting off, but everything is simply less hard for me. My biggest newbie tip is to get a fleece hose cover. Whether you use a humidifier or not. The plastic tubing is noisy and has no place in a bed. Best of luck! I'm only two months ahead of you, so I'm happy to be a sounding board for you. Sarah
Hey Morgan, It took me 3 nights to get used to wearing the mask. Each time I woke and wanted it off, I told myself "No, keep it on and you will get used to it and soon you won't even notice it." That proved to be true. The relief started just after that when I would wake in the morning with a smile on my face because it felt so good to be rested. It took several weeks for my abilities to come back, but they all did. Now when I put the mask on, it's like a signal that it is time to sleep and I often fall asleep in seconds, rather than minutes. I am a side sleeper, so I make sure the hose is going up over my head and around to the machine. I pull the sheet and blanket up over my head so my wife can keep reading if she wants to and the cold air coming out from my nose piece won't bother her. I am bald and the blanket keeps my head warm at night, too. I had done a lot of wilderness camping and was used to sleeping anywhere, so I am not too fussy and fall asleep easily whether in bed or on the floor. But, I always use my CPAP to help me get healthy sleep. I need a pillow between my knees since they are so bony and hurt each other without the pillow. I also use a posture pillow with an indentation for my head. Changing positions at night usually is a wakeful experience so I can reposition my knee pillow, but I go back to sleep almost instantly. I almost always get 7+ hours of sleep per night. My latest mask is an Airfit and it is the most comfortable mask I have experienced. NO strap marks in the morning, easily adjustable. I hope your success comes quickly, too.
How long it takes to feel the difference varies greatly from one individual to the next. Some people feel great improvement after one night, some a week or 2 and in some cases it may be as much as a year or more. It is usually easier to loose weight with CPAP, and occasionally some people rapidly lose a chuck of weight (usually if they have severe odoema), but in most cases it is as Snuffie describes. It is worth remembering that weight loss is the only know cure for OSA (and it doesn't work for anyone).