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Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
#1
Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
After using my cpap machine for about 5 months, I am still averaging 17-27 events per hour.
EXCEPT on nights where I have been drinking. Then, the events per hour DECREASE to only 2-5 events per hour! (according to myair app)
This is totally opposite of everything that I have been reading about with the effects of alcohol on sleep apnea.
When I go to bed, I am not drunk, but, may still be a little buzzed. Or, not feeling it at all anymore.

I have not had a full sleep study yet. I did the home oximetry finger test. And that is how they decided I needed the cpap.

Does anyone have any ideas about what could be going on here?
Thanks.
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#2
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
It's probably just the way your body is reacting as it adapts to the CPAP therapy. Sedatives like alcohol do indeed make obstructive sleep apnea worse because they help relax the muscles that keep your airway open. But when you are connected to a CPAP machine, you have a pressure splint keeping your airway open, so it doesn't really matter if your muscles are relaxed.

To figure out what's going on we need to know more than just your AHI. There are three components that are added together to get the AHI and we need to know what they are. There's other stuff like that, too. Download OSCAR and following the instructions  here post your charts in this thread. Hopefully we can figure out what's going on that's making your AHI so high.

By the way, I've found that when things like alcohol lower my AHI, it's a temporary situation. It soon goes away.
Sleepster
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
I'm not sure what's going on but suspect going to bed every night buzzed may not be good for your long term health. MyAir is not the best source of data to manage your therapy. I suggest you download free OSCAR software https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR/ and post a daily chart from a night when you have not used alcohol. We may be able to help you adjust your settings to lower your AHI. Instructions for posting and organizing your data are in the links below. Please follow the instructions for formatting and organizing your data carefully for best results. There are a number of Resmed models. If you got yours recently it is probably an airsense 10. The complete model name is on the front of the machine (e.g. Airsense 10 CPAP, Elite, Autoset). Which do you have?
Download OSCAR

Organize Charts
Attaching Charts

Mask Primer
Soft Cervical Collar

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.

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#4
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
my sleep is very fragmented so I can compare short and long sessions. I find I get more events in the longer sessions, presumably because longer duration increases the likelihood of deeper sleep. I wonder if alcohol, particularly relatively small amounts (as opposed to pass out amounts) results in more-disturbed sleep. on the one hand, we might expect tossing and turning to produce more sleep wake junk. on the other, it might be that it causes mini arousals or otherwise inhibits deeper sleep, leading to lighter sleep and fewer events. how's that for a stab in the dark?

at 17-27 ahi, it sounds like your therapy needs some optimizing. post some oscar charts for folks to respond to.
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#5
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
My recollection from "Why We Sleep" (Matthew Walker) - is that alcohol reduces our REM sleep, which seems to be when I have the most incidents. So reducing REM reduces incidents - and also the quality of sleep.

Numbers don't tell the whole story.
Apnea Board Monitors are members who help oversee the smooth functioning of the Board. They are also members of the Advisory Committee which helps shape Apnea Board's rules & policies. Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#6
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
thanks for the input. this makes sense.
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#7
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
Hagrock, consider downloading the free OSCAR program and posting some results. We might be able to help you optimize your machine's settings and get you better results with or without alcohol.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
Alcohol IMPROVES AHI?
This goes against everything i have read. Occasionally i have one drink before bed. Like maybe 2-3 times a month. The drink is usually half a shot of alcohol in a glass of soda or juice, or half a glass of wine.  On those nights, my AHI declines from my normal range of around 2-5, to be 0 - 0.5. Its a dramatic drop for me, and there is no other corresponding factor other than the small amount of alcohol.  Anyone else have this happen?
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#9
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES my sleep apnea?
I find the same thing occurs for me too. Yet as i sit here awake and my partner sleeps beside me, the idea that you sleep lighter and wake up easier makes 100% sense. I do wake up more on the nights i use alcohol
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#10
RE: Alcohol IMPROVES AHI?
I wish you would install OSCAR and post a Daily screen of a night of no alcohol and one with it. It would be interesting to see what changes occur.
Crimson Nape
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com
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Useful Links -or- When All Else Fails:
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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