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Fatigue from sleep apnea.
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chaddy511 Offline

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Post: #1
Fatigue from sleep apnea.
Im new to apnea and cpap. I was curious how many of you had chronic fatigue that led ya to having a sleep test. Then a pap machine.
And if the pap treatment relieved the fatigue. And how long it took. I started cpap a month ago. And ive had some good days. But ive had the fatigue here and there. Today was a bad day.
Thats why i ask. Im scared.


Thanks all.
Chaddy
04-05-2012 01:35 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
Everyone's experience is different. Some people start using the CPAP and feel better immediately, never having problems adjusting. Others struggle for months and often stop treatment.

Think of it this way: when you take antibiotics for an infection, you are often on the pills for several days, depending on the infection. It takes time for the pills to do their thing, for your body to heal, for your system to get back into the swing of things. We normally expect the healing process to take a while no matter what the illness or injury. Then there are pills for chronic conditions like high blood pressure. Often those have to be taken every day for the rest of your life. Some people start taking a BP med and that's all they need. Some people need to try several different meds or a combination of meds before their BP goes down.

The same goes for CPAP treatment. Your body has to adjust to not only the machine and its air, but the mask, the sleep positions, then there's the adjusting to actual sleep! Sleep apnea is a whole body thing due to the low oxygen levels and the lack of real sleep.

It takes a while. Stick with it. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, even on days off. Try to get into some sort of rhythm and normalcy. Get used to the mask by wearing it some during the day with the machine on. Sit and watch television or read a book. Get used to the mask, the air, the everything.

Go read the CPAP Success Story thread (found here) and see what others experienced.

As for me, I slept like a rock for weeks. My body and brain were exhausted. I didn't truly know how tired I was until I started to really and truly sleep. I actually felt more tired about two weeks into treatment that before! Then there was the constant mask issues until I finally found one that worked for me (got a little nose). Then there was the sleep positions so that I didn't knock the mask off. And then and then and then....I guess it was 6 months or more before it all settled and I started to feel pretty darn good.
04-05-2012 02:26 AM
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JumpStart Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
(04-05-2012 01:35 AM)chaddy511 Wrote:  Im new to apnea and cpap. I was curious how many of you had chronic fatigue that led ya to having a sleep test. Then a pap machine.
And if the pap treatment relieved the fatigue. And how long it took. I started cpap a month ago. And ive had some good days. But ive had the fatigue here and there. Today was a bad day.
Thats why i ask. Im scared.

Hi, chaddy511, welcome to the forum.

As Paula02 has said, we are all different and we each respond to cpap therapy differently. But in that statement is part of the answer - it is therapy, not a cure. And therapy cannot work unless it is continued. So whatever is happening today, or in your immediate past, CONTINUE. Getting into a rythm is very important if you are having difficulties.

I had the chronic fatigue for decades. When I began cpap, the only thing I immediately noticed was the mask issues. I was fortunate in that I was able to resolve those within a few weeks. And while there are still bad days, when I give up after only 4 or 5 hours (having been wakened by something, a mask blowout, bathroom need, overanxious pet) each good day (and they are in the majority) usually results in a better day - less sleepiness, better focus, no falling asleep, etc. Not a major change each, but overall, improvement. And when you consider the alternative to no therapy, for me it is a no brainer.

Keep at it. You will feel better, and don't let the bad days get you down. I can promise you it is worth the initial aggravation. And yes, it can be frightening, but more so if you don't pursue the therapy.

Breathing keeps you alive. And PAP helps keep you breathing!
04-05-2012 08:06 AM
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chaddy511 Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
Thank you paula and jumpstart. I apperciate you taking the time to help me. Smile
04-05-2012 02:20 PM
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Dreamcatcher Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
Also some people dont get the relief that your thinking of, it can be very suttle. Im 2 years in and still fall asleep watching tv and reading. I told this to my doc and he said sorry but thats just you ??? Not sure what he meant. For me I excercise in the gym which makes me feel alive and I also quit smoking and changed my diet, maybe extreme for some but it worked I dont fall asleep 10 minutes after getting up anymore.

So if your looking for a light switch moment it may never happen but my advice is we are all different so stick with it as you WILL feel better at some point, it just takes time for some of us.
04-05-2012 02:30 PM
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oldteddybear Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
I am at three months. The most immediate response was the fog that my mind seemed to be in lifted and I could think clearer. As for the feeling of rest, I have good and bad days, but on the whole I still think that my body is playing catchup, trying to recover for so long with insufficient sleep. Pay attention to why you wake up. I found that I was waking up gasping for breath and contacted the sleep doctor, He had the pressure increased by 2 cmH2O and I am not doing that anymore.

It does take time and it may not seem that it is initially helping but it is, The body reacts strangly sometimes for example: Carbon monoxide poisoning - when you get into clean air you feel so bad that you will try to get back into the carbon monoxide to feel better even though it is killing you.
04-05-2012 06:11 PM
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iSnooze Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
I've been on cpap for 15 weeks now and I was hoping to have miraculous results within the first week. That didn't happen but I did notice that I was sleeping sounder. Most people see a gradual and subtle improvement in their sleeping patterns with cpap. There will be good nights and bad nights. There will still be nights when you toss and turn and wake up tired. Cpap doesn't guarantee a good night's sleep. It reduces your AHIs to an acceptable levels so that you are not gasping for air. There are many other things that can affect your sleep and cause fatigue: stress, meds, irregular sleep times, alcohol, worrying, not letting go of work or personal issues, etc.

I still have bad days when I'm tired but when I look back to what I was like before I started my cpap therapy, I can see a huge difference in the quality of my bad days. On bad days I'm just tired and worn out. Before cpap most of my days were bad days and my brain was in a fog. My memory was slipping. My reaction times were slow. I knew I needed to sleep but also knew sleep wouldn't give me any relief. Now when I have a bad day I know that I just need to sleep it off and in a day or two I'll be back to normal.
04-06-2012 07:50 AM
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Bompa Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
It took me a couple of months to really feel a difference in my energy level. Still if I have a bad night, caused my all my arthritic joints and back I feel the CPAP treatment was a waste of time for that night. On low pain nights I wake up feeling real good and ready to tackle the day.
04-06-2012 08:56 AM
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Cutter Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
I've been on CPAP for 10 years and still fall asleep watching TV or while looking at my computer screen. However, I do generally feel better.

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04-06-2012 10:34 AM
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CHanlon Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Fatigue from sleep apnea.
I can give a precise answer to that, but it seems I'm the exception not the rule, so don't go by me. I'm answering more to show you how widely the answer can vary.

For me, it was precisely 9.5 hours - the length of time I slept with my new APAP, on the first day I got it.

I was *bad* before that. I wouldn't drive alone for fear of nodding off. I don't think I ever did, but I *did* nod off often during days at work. Couldn't concentrate long enough to look something up in a programming manual and actually retain the answer. Memory was noticeably shorter then normal. Etc. I can't tell you how many movies I know I've watched, but have nearly no memory of. Or if I even got to the end of them.

Put the mask on the first night, slept 9.5 hours and woke up feeling 10 years younger, with no more symtoms. It's been nearly 2 years now, and that's not changed, other then, lately, I don't seem to need as much sleep...I feel as good with 6 hours as I did with 9...but I still try to get at least 8...
04-07-2012 11:27 PM
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