Why you’re still tired with CPAP – part 2 of 5Apr 01, 2023
CPAP necessarily comes with an acclimation period- you have to get used to it. For new users, the focus is on putting the mask on nightly and just getting to sleep. Then it shifts to getting at least four hours of use in. Many times, especially if your insurance has a 4-hour “compliance” requirement, people stop here. You’re compliant with treatment, so you’re done, right?
Reason #2 you’re still tired with CPAP. Your sleep apnea is UNDERtreated. If you’re only using CPAP for part of the night, you are probably getting low-quality sleep during the times it’s off. Don’t be satisfied with 4 hours of CPAP use!
Slow-wave sleep happens in the first half of the night. REM (dream) sleep is more dominant in the second half of the night. You don’t want to let your sleep apnea get in the way of either of these important sleep stages. Not using CPAP in the second part of the sleep period is more common. If this is true for you, it means the majority of your REM sleep is interrupted by airway blockage and drops in your oxygen levels. Your sleep apnea is active when you are sleeping without CPAP. Don’t sell yourself short.
Another way your sleep apnea can be under-treated is if your pressure setting is outdated. The pressure setting is part of the prescription, and it can fall short over time or with changes to your weight or medical conditions. You may not be getting what you need to breathe properly. Consult with your sleep doctor to confirm you’re at the right pressure and you’re fully treated throughout your sleep.
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