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CPAP and your "sleep switch"
#1
CPAP and your "sleep switch"
Curious if anyone else experiences this:
I'm laying in bed with CPAP going.  I'm comfortable, the mask is not leaking.  Not claustrophobic, not stressed or thinking about anything.  Breathing normal. And time passes, but sleep doesn't come.

That elusive switch inside my head that gets thrown when I fall asleep won't "throw".  After an hour (or 2), I know if I take the CPAP off, I will be asleep in minutes (maybe seconds), but as long as I'm laying there, listening to the air venting from my mask, I know sleep isn't not going to happen.

This happened A LOT the first couple of weeks on CPAP.  Now after 3 months, it's hardly happening at all at bedtime. But it's still happening 2+ times a week after waking in the middle of the night to hit the head.  Sometimes after only 2-3 hours of sleep.

Anybody else experiencing this?  Any tips / suggestions?

Which is better?
Get up & do something (sometimes never getting back to bed).
Or taking CPAP off and getting some sleep even if it's horrible.

Does sleeping without CPAP for a few hours a couple of times a week cause any problems?
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#2
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
Your body is trying to adapt to CPAP therapy. When you sleep without the CPAP machine you make the adaptation harder and you make the symptoms you describe worse.

The sleep you get without the CPAP machine it's of no help and instead damages your body.

I had this fragmented sleep problem, too. And I still do sometimes but it's not anywhere near as bad as it used to be.

When you're having trouble sleeping get out of bed a read under the lowest light that's comfortable. Read a book or magazine, not an illuminated screen on a laptop or other device.
Sleepster
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#3
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
Fragmented sleep here also.  Perhaps consider mindful meditation or body scan.  Anything to get your mind to focus on something besides getting to sleep.  Best wishes.
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#4
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
I take timed release melatonin. Solved my getting to sleep problem and I fall right back to sleep if I wake up during the night--although I don't need to get up to use the facilities at night. Continued use of the CPAP might solve that problem for you.
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#5
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
I don't know if you're already doing this, but my sleep doctor told me to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up (with an alarm) at the same time every day, seven days a week. This worked like a charm for me, after years of insomnia. Now I have a pavlovian response to the CPAP--as soon as I put it on, I fall asleep. Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones, but I hope not. I can't believe how much this simple advice changed my life.
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#6
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
That happened to me in phases throughout my first 6-12 months on CPAP as my body got used to getting productive sleep. 

  Earplugs have helped me a lot.
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#7
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
Thanks for the pointers!

I actually never knew the name for this. Once I looked up fragmented sleep, I actually found more.

Thank you sleepster for confirming what I thought -- no CPAP is worse than "bad" CPAP. I'm still working through this, and a couple of other issues, but I'm trying to use consistently even for the occasional nap.

I think the big thing is going to be keeping to a schedule / good sleep hygiene, and sticking with it.
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#8
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
I would recommend you read the book: Sleep Through Insomnia by Brandon R. Peters, M.D.. He suggests several
behavioral interventions you can do that could help you. It has made a difference for me. Good Luck
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#9
RE: CPAP and your "sleep switch"
Earplugs. Soft foam ones.

I use them every night to eliminate the machine noise. As soon as I did this, I fell asleep easily.
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