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Newb on my 4rth night with CPAP
#1
Grin 
So, I was recently diagnosed with what is apparently severe sleep apnea.
The sleep clinic has given me a trial machine and I've had 3 nights of sleep with it.
Some things that I've noticed so far:

-It takes me a long time to fall asleep. The sound of my breathing, the feeling of the mask and the fact that I'm focused on keeping my mouth shut are all factors.

-My nostrils hurt in the morning, though the nasal pillow seems to fit and seal fine.

-for the first time in 10 years, I have slept through the night without getting up to use the washroom, without waking up with a headache and I'm able to make it through the next day without falling asleep on the couch. Big Grin

Any tips or hints for a newbie at CPAP to make my transition to sleep a little easier?

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#2
(04-19-2016, 02:03 PM)Xaq64 Wrote: So, I was recently diagnosed with what is apparently severe sleep apnea.
The sleep clinic has given me a trial machine and I've had 3 nights of sleep with it.
Some things that I've noticed so far:

-It takes me a long time to fall asleep. The sound of my breathing, the feeling of the mask and the fact that I'm focused on keeping my mouth shut are all factors.

-My nostrils hurt in the morning, though the nasal pillow seems to fit and seal fine.

-for the first time in 10 years, I have slept through the night without getting up to use the washroom, without waking up with a headache and I'm able to make it through the next day without falling asleep on the couch. Big Grin

Any tips or hints for a newbie at CPAP to make my transition to sleep a little easier?

Welcome to the forum!

First and foremost IMHO is that you are sleeping better which is the point of all this we go through. Keep that in mind going forward.

Second, the getting to sleep will get easier. I have been on my for 2 weeks tonight, and now if I wake up during the night I don't know if the machine is on or not! All those things that are bothering you now you soon become used to and they don't bother you so much. Each of us is different and so it takes more or less time for each, but it will get better.

Good sleep practices will help - you can google it, but things like consistency with time and activities, not eating within 3 hours of go to sleep, etc.

Make sure the mask is not too tight. I would guess that is the biggest mistake most of us noobs make in trying to get a "good seal". Maybe try a little looser and see if that helps with the nostrils.

If you have a problem with mouth breathing you can try a chin strap (under $20 online) or change to a full face mask - ResMed F10.

Most importantly don't make too many changes too fast. Let your body and mind have a little time (couple days to a couple weeks) to acclimate itself to the changes before panicking and trying too many things all at once.

Good luck and I envy your rapid success so far!
I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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#3
Hi Xaq64,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
CPAP therapy can take some time to get used to, but just keep on going, it sounds like you are off to a pretty good start.
Hang in there for more suggestions and much success to you on your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#4
Hello Xaq64,

One of the things that has helped me was committing to using the CPAP every time I lay down.

Right now you are focused on all of the new things going on since starting CPAP. As Frank said, sleep hygiene is very important to getting a good nights sleep or even getting to sleep. Start a routine for getting ready for bed. It really helps. Hang in there. The time will come when you can't imagine sleeping without your machine.

As far as your nostrils hurting in the morning, you may want to loosen your headgear slightly. Nasal pillows tend to work better if they are just tight enough not to leak and a mask that is too tight can cause your nostrils to get sore. Another thing that can help is going up one size on the nasal pillow. Even though the one you are using may not leak, a larger one wouldn't go as far into you nostrils and could help the soreness. You can also put a little Lanolin around the edge of your nostrils. Just a touch, a little goes a long way. You can get it in the baby department of pharmacies, department store, etc.

Good luck with your therapy. It will all come together for you.

"....respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence...." Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- 1837

I use FlashPAP to load data from a FlashAir III wifi sd card in my machine to my computer and display it with SleepyHead .
robysue's Beginner's Guide to SleepyHead
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#5
Xag64,
Welcome to Apnea Board,
All good advice above.
It will take some time to get used to your new routine. Having a mask on your face and being attached to a hose every night will be an adjustment, but you will get used to it and it becomes a part of you.

If hearing your own breathing bothers you, there are a couple things you can try. Run a fan in your bedroom, or try some other "white noise", like soft music.

Good luck.
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#6
Welcome

Lot of good info in the forum to help you get through the CPAP training curve . Expect to find a few friends here. Eat-popcorn


2004-Bon Jovi
it'll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy

Observations and recommendations communicated here are the perceptions of the writer and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.
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#7
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and great advice.
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#8
I didn't have to go the Lanolin route, did it the hard way, ..had a raw nose for the first 2 weeks. It passed and the nose adapted, painless after break the break in period. Your doing well, took me 3 weeks to get a full nights sleep.

Lanolin is a great option if the nose is too raw to get to sleep.
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#9
I've used CPAP for years, but only in the past month have switched to nasal pillows, so I can relate. My nostrils were also irritated at first--especially the left one. There was even some redness there for the first few days. As others have suggested, I checked to see if the straps were too tight, and they were. I loosened them just a tad, and the irritation diminished and finally went away. I wish I'd started with nasal pillows years ago, but alas I didn't even know they existed.

As for taking longer to fall asleep, that should pass very quickly. You're still at the stage where the whole setup seems very foreign to your natural sleep habits, but the superior sleep you're getting will soon make you look forward to putting the headgear on, and will be a signal to your body that it's time to rest. At least, that's what I found after about the first week of adjustment.
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#10
Make sure the hose itself isn't going right by your ears. For me, that adds another level of volume of hearing myself breath. If I push the hose down my chest (over the blankets, though you may prefer under) and then up past my shoulders, I'm okay. But if I let it snake right past my ears, it sounds very loud indeed, and I can't fall sleep, even after 8 years of using the machine.

Sore nose: While you get used to it .... and on troublesome days after too .... use a dab of neosporin in the morning when you wake up. This stuff will damage the nasal pillows, so don't do it at night, but it will numb the nose and help the healing if you add it after you awaken and get up.

Plus the lanolin (from the nursing mothers section of the store): it helps make a better seal, and it softens the skin, while not being the kind of stuff that bothers the plastic in the nasal pillows. Use half-a-split-pea worth.
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