The Effects of CPAP Machine Usage on Middle-Aged Males Suffering From Sleep Apnea: A Brief Analysis and an Overly Long Title

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So, I’ve had the CPAP machine for nearly two weeks now, and there are some trends beginning to emerge.

In the beginning, there were instances of both waking late and taking naps, but from the first night my body’s overwhelming, undeniable, irresistible urge to lie back down wasn’t there. I attributed the naps to being bored rather than notably tired.

The second night of using the machine was a difficult one, as my body registered the addition of air pressure into my nostrils as me choking, and it took forever for that sensation to calm down to the point that I could drift off to sleep. This sensation was greatly diminished on the third night and has since completely faded away. It now feels a little weird when the air begins to gently blow, but it’s a feeling I’ve become accustomed to, and I no longer feel anything resembling a choking sensation when I use the mask.

As my usage has progresses, I have noticed that I need less and less sleep during the day. Sunday I woke at shortly after 7:00 am and stayed awake the entire day, not sleeping once. Yesterday I awake at around 7:30 am and did not go lie down for a nap all day, although I did take a short, 15 minute long catnap sitting on the couch. Today I slept in, awaking at 9:30 am, and have not returned to bed since, and as of this writing have no urge whatsoever to do so.

The most apparent benefit is an increase in energy. I seem to be more alert during the day, though I’m still waking up very groggy for a time, and I also seem to be accomplishing more with my day more efficiently.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on my blood pressure and haven’t noticed that there’s been much of a change there, although it seems more often that my blood pressure is slightly below 120/80. Blood pressure fluctuates wildly throughout the day, however, and it’s difficult to see any sort of definite trend. I’m going to continue to keep a closer eye on that to see if a notable change develops in the weeks and months that I continue to use my machine.

My compliance has been near perfect. I’m sleeping with the mask on every night, and have only had a few examples of napping without the mask, though that was largely situational, as I had already broken down the machine for its daily cleaning and its parts were drying at the time. I’ve been perfect with my cleaning regimen with the single exception of failing to wash the headgear during the one weekly cleaning that I’ve done (that will resolve itself in a couple of days, however, on the next weekly cleaning cycle).

The only downside that I’ve noticed is that for a while after I remove the mask in the morning, my nostrils are dry and sore. After an application of saline nasal spray, that fades fairly quickly, so it’s not much of a downside.

Overall, I’m already starting to see some improvements in my life thanks to the CPAP machine, and I’m hoping for in the not-too-distant future.

 

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