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I'm finally going into the sleep disorder clinic to get a CPAP machine tried out on me. A couple of months ago, I stayed overnight to have the study done. They called back a week later and told me that I had severe sleep apnea, which I was already expecting. They said that my oxygen level in the blood during the night had dropped to as low as 80% (90-95% is normal). And for a good percentage of the night, I had stopped breathing!! I can't remember the exact number. But it was something like dozens of times per hour! Sometimes, I wonder whether this contributed to my heart failure....because I know I've had this problem now for probably 10 years, at least. And it can interfere with memory and cognitive tasks, from what I hear.....over time. Many people simply snore at night, but when it gets really bad, the back fleshy part of your mouth will actually collapse against the back of your throat, restricting airflow as you are trying to breathe.

When you are awake, your muscles are more rigid and you have control over them, allowing you to breathe. But when you fall asleep, esp deep sleep, your muscles relax, and the throat muscles will collapse and restrict air flow, thus causing your to snore....and if really bad, cause sleep apnea as airflow is completely restricted for up to 30 seconds at a time. I know that when I'm half asleep, I notice my breathing will stop....only to awake and gasp for air. This will constantly wake you up at night and prevent a restful, deep sleep....and prevent you from comfortably entering REM sleep stage (when you dream).

So I will soon (in a few days) have them try out the CPAP machine (mask worn around your face which forces air into your breathing channels) and determine the proper positive airflow pressure to keep.

Does anyone use this.....what is your experience...does it work? Do you feel more restful and mentally alert after starting its use?
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Sometimes, I wonder whether this contributed to my heart failure..


Short answer, yes.

Long answer, it just puts you on a long downward spiral of worsening health. Not sleeping properly, increase release of stress hormones, potentially leading to hypertension, you feel crappy, don't exercise, gain weight, cycle worsens.

I've known a few people that have tried CPAP. Some works others don't. The two biggest issues, getting a good mask fit and you have to sleep on your back.

The up side, start sleeping well and easier to improve your health. Down side, doesn't work and you're left with a surgical option called UPPP. Which causes you to lose a ton of weight because you can't eat for weeks.

JLC
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Thanks Jon.
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I know that when I'm half asleep, I notice my breathing will stop....only to awake and gasp for air.


Yikes! That has started happening to me occasionally. Not every night, just once in a while, and only once on any given night. But it is frightening.

Just before awakening from one of these "episodes", I once had a dream that my face was submerged in water and I was drowning.

Also, once in a while I wake up gasping and all my membranes have dried out... I actually have to get out of bed and "lubricate" my airways with some water, then sit upright for a bit until I recover.

These things never happened until this year. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the meds I'm on?
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These things never happened until this year. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the meds I'm on?

Definitely a possibility. Talk with your doctor about it.
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