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Not a Newbie-mornings harder when I use CPAP

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I've been back on my CPAP therapy since February after a couple years off. It never did help my daytime fatigue, but I do notice enough benefits over the long haul to keep at it.

Two months ago I started taking Ritalin after doing some reading on Adult ADHD and sleep issues. My psychiatrist agreed I had ADHD and meds were worth a try and I think we finally hit the nail on the head after years of struggling with various issues. My energy is up significantly, I'm doing much better in the self care department, I'm finding all sorts of things have improved that I hadn't even realized were issues/symptoms of ADHD and thought were anxiety or OCD related.

The crazy part is even though my sleep hasn't changed much (I still wake a lot at night with or without the meds and the CPAP) I feel better in the mornings too. It's just not as much of a struggle to wake as it used to be. However, I have recently not been using the CPAP as much (just because I had an awful cough and congestion that made using a nasal mask impossible) and the days I do use it I struggle a little more to get up in the morning. I also notice I have a pressure/mild pain when I use it, in my upper neck/lower back of my head area. I'm seeing a chiropractor and adjustments have been helping but I definitely sleep weird or something when I use it and I'm not sure how to correct that. Maybe a special pillow or something? I was a stomach sleeper but now sleep on my sides. I just can't get used to sleeping on my back.

I do have to use a chin strap and my mask is the Eson 2 nasal mask. I don't feel uncomfortable in it, but I think because I'm a light sleeper in general, I am subconsciously tensing up when I wear it. Anyone else have neck pain/tension build from sleeping with a CPAP or have thoughts on how to alleviate it?

Beyond that any thoughts on why I struggle more with waking on nights I'm using it? My AHI is typically below 1. I know I tend to be deep in REM in the mornings after waking a lot earlier in the night. Maybe that's just amplified when I'm using it?

TIA

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Sierra +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Patron

With an AHI of under 1, your machine is certainly dealing with the apnea issue. It would seem that all you have for opportunity is the comfort factor. Do you know how high your machine is going for pressure in the night? Do you have mask leaks that may be disturbing your sleep?

My wife used the ResMed Mirage FX nasal mask for over 3 years. It looks quite similar to the Eson 2 mask. A couple of months ago she switched to the F&P Brevida nasal pillow mask. It has reduced her leaks and she feels it is more comfortable. After trying 5 different masks I have settled on the ResMed AirFit P10 nasal pillow mask. I have tried the Brevida as well and prefer the P10 even though the headgear is not as good. It is quite a minimalist mask and I find very comfortable, quiet, and works well at a pressure of 12 cm with no significant leak issues.

I have been around the block on pillows too. Prior to using a CPAP I was convinced I needed a memory foam orthopedic style pillow to support my neck and avoid neck pain which I am susceptible to. However with a CPAP I found the memory foam pushed back too hard when I laid on my side and would dislodge the mask. I have now settled on a down alternative microfiber fill pillow (inexpensive at Costco). It is fairly dense, but pliable like a down pillow. It seems to work better for me, and the neck issues have not been a problem. I also had an issue with the headgear moving in the night. I now use a satin pillow case protector and find my head slips around on it better and the straps stay in place.

One more thing I have found is that my sleeping habits were not the best. I was trying to sleep too long, and was taking naps during the day. My view now is to avoid any significant naps during the day, and try to limit sleep to less than 8 hours. I find a shorter sleep improves my AHI and seems more restful. I did stumble on a very helpful website which was designed to help people get a good sleep without using sleeping pills. They don't sell anything. It was set up by a pharmacist and university professor who believes sleeping pills are being used way too much especially in senior citizens. Here is a link to it. There is a lot of information there if you explore the various tools.

Sleepwell

Hope that helps some,

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Thanks for the reply!

I don't seem to be having an issue with leaks. I've had periods of time when I do, but I'm getting perfect 100 scores on my readings most nights. I think my pressure is set to a range up to 12 right now. It was set higher, but I was finding it was going too high. I had another sleep study done and they said I only needed a pressure of 7, but I was also only sleeping on my side. They adjusted me to a set pressure of 7 and there were times I was waking feeling like I was not getting enough air. So they put it back to a range with a lower top number. But I have always felt like it doesn't do a great jump of giving me just what I need and goes too high too fast. That said I don't wake feeling it's excessive or anything. I'm pretty used to it by now.

I just got back from a short vacation and I think a new pillow will definitely help my neck issues. They had thick down or down-like pillows at the hotel I was at and I found I did not wake with the same neck stiffness. The pillows were sort of mold-able so I was able to support my neck better. I guess I'll go on a hunt to find something similar.

Oversleeping may be a bit of an issue as well. At least at times. I don't nap anymore, or at least rarely, but I sleep in on days when I can. Maybe I'll have to try a more set waking time every day and see if that helps.

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