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Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
#1
Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
I am doing fairly well with CPAP now, at least as far as my CPAP machine measures things - a few events/night, which my doctor says is in the normal zone.

Nonetheless, I would like to know, for several reasons, if I can get away with just using a wedge pillow, a neck brace, and and a sleep position (on my back, with the top of my head slightly over the back of the wedge pillow), that forces my neck back. These are the main things I needed to change, in addition to picking an Resmed Airsense 10 instead of a PR DreamStation, in order to get good results from CPAP.

Also - the machine (which does not have an oxygen sensor, though I occasionally have also used a Contec CMS50DA+ pulse oximeter - BTW, thanks to someone on another apnea board for the suggestion that I tape the oximeter to my finger, so it doesn't come off) sometimes detects events when I stop or slow breathing for a while - but a pulse/oximeter mostly says my oxygen level stays fairly high. What often seems to happen, based on Oscar, is that I breath faster or deeper for a while, sometimes raising my oxygen level, though with a bit of lag, then stop breathing for a bit. Then my oxygen level drops back down, but not much below normal, and I start breathing again.

Unfortunately, my CPAP machine (Airsense 10) has a minimum pressure of 4.0 cm of water, which is also what it uses most of the night. There is no way for it to just monitor breathing without applying pressure.

(I also tried a Zeo sleep manager - a medically uncertified home EKG unit - to see if it could check my sleep and dream states, but it couldn't even tell when I was awake. Though neither could the very sophisticated hospital grade equipment during my sleep test.)

If the pulse/oximeter says my oxygen level stays fairly high, is that a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?

Exactly how high does it need to stay?

I could also use smartphone apps that show how I breath and if I snore, but I'm not sure whether that is needed or useful to measure healthy sleeping. Though I can only snore while awake by tilting my neck tilts down, which also makes breathing more difficult. If the same is true while asleep, that would be an additional measurement. Likewise, I could use a smartphone app that takes pictures of my head and neck position while asleep. But if oxygen level is all that really matters, there is no reason to bother.
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#2
RE: Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
it does seem like granular oxygen data would be the gospel truth about how good our sleep is, wouldn't it? I need to get one that checks every second or two, to know. My fear is that my apneas are controlled but somehow my oxygen levels still aren't good.
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#3
RE: Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
No, because you can have normal oxygen levels but be waking up constantly.
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#4
RE: Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
No. Most of us have good levels of oxygen but still have apnea. They are two different things. Untreated apnea can lead to many serious health issues and needs to be treated with a pap machine.
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#5
RE: Is a oxygen level a sufficient test of healthy sleeping?
Your oxygenation level is merely an indicator that you're getting enough oxygen if it's above about 90%.  When awake, most of us hover between 95 - 99%, but sleeping is a different animal.  If we have sleep-onset CA's, for example, you could conceivably get SAT down to the 85% range.  That is not deleterious in and of itself, especially if they are infrequent.  But if they cause arousals, that's bad.  You want uninterrupted 90 minute cycles into REM as often as possible during the 6-9 hours most of us sleep.

Good quality sleep should comprise successive cascades and rises through the different stages of sleep.  Ideally.  After 50, many of us rise to void, some like my father two or three times.  Ugh!  I am just turned 70 and have never had to rise to void...not yet, anyway.   So, if you do have to void at least once, that is an interruption of the sleep cycle.  If you awaken immediately after having dreamt, that's the best time to void.  Oxygenation is but an indicator, not the soul determinant, of what could be called 'good' sleep.  Arousals caused by flow limitations or apneic events of any description will not help a person who is awake often and fully saturated as a result.
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