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Using alcohol to get to sleep

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MidnightRider +0 points · 7 months ago Original Poster

Hi first post.

I'm in the UK. I had a sleep study just before Christmas and it showed that I wake up over 50 times per hour. Severe sleep apnea was diagnosed and I was told that I would be given a CPAP machine as a matter of urgency.

Covid 19 has now hit and the respiratory clinic are devoting 100% of their resources to fighting this. I don't even have an estimate of when I might now get my CPAP.

I've reached the point when I can't sleep for literally 5 minutes without waking in a panic (monitored by my wife). I have tried different sleeping positions, a mouthpiece (made me nauseous), hanging my head over the bed, sleeping on my front....everything I can think of. Now the bad bit. At the end of my tether I have started drinking a significant amount of alcohol, a bottle of wine plus a couple of whiskys, just to get me to sleep and can no longer sleep without it.

I would welcome any advice. I would like to give up alcohol but do not know of an alternative.

If it means anything, I do not consider myself an alcoholic but I am dependent on it for sleep.

Thank you,

MR

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SleepDent +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. I really hate to say this but, using the alcohol, in addition to the usual addictive potential, is probably causing you SERIOUS medical harm. Alcoholic products relax your muscles and this muscle relaxant effect probably is making your obstructive sleep apnea exponentially worse. You were already at AHI 50, which puts you in clear and present for heart attack and stroke. Now you would be in even more peril. Sorry, but true. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.. The Naples Center For Dental Sleep Medicine.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi MidnightRider

Yes the alcohol will help you get to sleep but it doesn't last far enough into the night and it will do serious damage to you, your budget and any relationships you may have.

I was also in the very severe range before I had a CPAP machine and used to resort to antihistamines (the drowsy type) to help clear the airways and also to help sleep.

Sleeping on your side is also critical to being able to breathe properly with severe apnea (until you have a machine)

My suggestion would be to simply buy a CPAP machine and mask online.

I understand that in some countries there may be issues but there must be a way around them if you are determined, perhaps even a used or refurbished machine.

This forum contains plenty of information about machine options and settings.

There might also be some good advice online regarding sleep habits and relaxation techniques.

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MidnightRider +0 points · 7 months ago Original Poster

Thanks for the swift replies. I know that the booze is bad news, but not sleeping is just so wretched that it feels like the lesser of evils.

The CPAP machines I saw for sale were about 3K. I cannot afford this but will look for a second hand or refurbished machine that I can afford.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I've made a number of purchases from these guys: 1800CPAP

That's not a recommendation. Just one possibility amongst many.

The last machine I bought cost around $400 which was all I could afford but it works fine for what I need it to do.

If your economy and control mechanisms are much like ours (Australia) then you can probably also buy them from merchants and private sales listed on your local trading sites. (Trading Post, Gumtree, Ebay etc.)

Once again just an example and not a particularly good example either: Example

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Stormy +0 points · 7 months ago

Have one for me. I'm saying it can't hurt and the sleep doctors 1... Haven't got a clue about any of this 2....Have found their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you can spell or say snore you have sleep apnea 3... Get you on a machine, get the funds rolling in then disappear under the same rock your DME disappeared under. Suddenly the one health benefit you have been missing your whole life has no benefit, no answers and major problems with the machine, breathing and you mean nothing.I know we have problems because of the coronavirus but I made an appointment in January, couldn't get in until May. Got cancelled for May then called back and said I could keep the appointment. The appointment disappeared from my patient portal so I called. They rescheduled me for November. I can't breathe. I was referred to this doctor by my neurosurgeon after U had a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke. No biggie...I have emphysema and, per my PCP, I also have COPD. I will probably be dead by November. But they got their cash out of me and THAT'S what's important.

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MidnightRider +0 points · 7 months ago Original Poster

Thanks Bigugly I've just ordered a refurbished machine from your link for only $511 including delivery. I spend that each month on booze!

I hope that it will be as transformative as they claim.

MR

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I hope it works out for you.

Don't hesitate to come back to this forum for suggestions or advice to do with setup and settings etc.

Not really my forte but Sierra is usually very helpful and knows his stuff.

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

Sounds like you have a solution on the way. Another source of CPAP machines, new and used, if you are in the US is SecondWind CPAP.

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