Here's a link to the section of Roby Sue's Beginner's Guide to SleepyHead wiki that shows a graph of breathing flow rate with different events going on
(snoring, expiratory mouth breathing, etc.) The whole Wiki is excellent for learning to understand SleepyHead.
You're correct about the apnea and hypopneas. They are usually expressed as an "index", which is number of events per hour. If you look at your daily SleepyHead data, you can see apnea and hypopnea events in the Events graph. There is also a graph for AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) that is an hourly average of events.
SleepyHead also shows something called RERA (respiratory effort-related arousal) which are the events in yellow on the events graph.
If you have a question about definitions, you can usually find them in the SleepyHead wiki, or you can just do a web search for the term. (Ditto for CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP (and VPAP). You probably want to read about C-Flex and A-Flex, too, which are Philips Respironics terms for expiratory pressure relief (EPR).
If you go into the Setup menu on your machine and look at the settings, you will find the A-Flex or C-Flex setting. It may be on or off. It it's on, it will have a value of 1-3. (You can do a search to read more about this setting.) 1, 2, or 3 all give you in the neighborhood of a 2 cm drop in exhalation pressure.
A BiPAP machine basically lets you set the exhalation pressure independently of the inhalation pressure. Some people have problems exhaling against pressure and need a wider gap between their set inhale and exhale pressure than typical. If they don't have it, they will swallow air, have the feeling that they can't exhale, etc.
BiPAP machines come in fixed pressure or auto-adjusting. With fixed pressure BiPAP, you might set your inhale pressure at 13.0 cm and your exhale pressure at 9.0 cm.
Auto-adjusting BiPAP would be like the APAP that you're using now, but with the ability to set a fixed difference between inhale and exhale pressure.
If you want to know how you breathe while you're asleep, I think looking at the breathing flow rate graph is the most helpful. If you click repeatedly on it, you can zoom in so that you can see individual breaths.
When the sleep tech said that most people are nose breathers, maybe she meant that they primarily inhale through their nose. When you are wearing a mask that doesn't cover the mouth, you keep air from escaping from your mouth by blocking your airway with your tongue. When we get into really deep sleep, sometimes our muscles relax and this tongue "block" may let air escape.
That can vary from just a tiny bit escaping from time to time (which I believe will look like the "expiratory mouth breathing" graph) to letting so much air rush out of our mouth that it shows up as a large leak. You may want to do a search about what large leaks of air from your mouth do to the effectiveness of your therapy.
If you wake up with a very dry mouth, that's a sign that you're probably doing quite a bit of mouth breathing.
I'm not clear about whether some people also inhale through their mouths all the time (unless there's lots of nasal congestion).
A "full face" mask covers your mouth as well as your nose, so if you exhale through your mouth, the air doesn't leave the pressurized system of the xPAP machine, tubing, mask, and you. (Full face mask doesn't mean it covers your eyes.)
Another interesting graph is the pressure graph. You can look at events and see how the machine's algorithm varies the pressure in response. (You'll want to look at the flow limitation graph in addition to the events graph if you're doing this.)
If this is confusing, blame my writing style. Plus, there are several definitions to learn. PLUS, the different machine manufacturers (primarily Philips Respironics and Resmed machine users on this board) use different terminology, so you have to learn more than one term for (approximately but not exactly) the same thing, like expiratory pressure/pressure relief being called EPR, C-Flex, A-Flex, pressure support, etc.
I've tried to be accurate in what I've written here, but there may be errors. If so, someone will probably say so.
(05-22-2016 11:29 AM)verbatim1 Wrote: The sleep tech asked me if I breathed through my nose or mouth and I said "how would I know?". So she gave me the nose-only mask and she said that everyone usually is a "nose breather".
That is interesting information, since I am unaware of HOW I breathe when I sleep.
Is there a way to prove or doublecheck that I breathe with my mouth from the charts? (She said most people breathe with the nose.)