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Newly Diagnosed
Hi all,

I want to thank this forum and all who contributed comments. It made the selection of my new equipment much quicker than I had predicted. The pro’s and con’s listed in the equipment section were invaluable.

I knew that I was a CPAP candidate for many years. It wasn’t until I ended up taking my wife to a follow up Doctors appointment that led to my test. The Doc asked if there was anything else, to which I would reply no. Then my wife would say “what about …”. Sleep apnea was one of the “other” issues. I never really thought much about it for several reasons. Now that I am diagnosed I will use it every night. I do have some questions that I am hoping someone out there might have some experience with.

I am an insomniac. This has been a way of life for me since I was an infant, according to my Mom. The more pressure that is put on me, whether work or personal, the less I sleep. This is not always a bad thing. I have in the past ran on less than 3 hours sleep a night for several months. It only gets bad when I sleep less than 2 hours a night for several nights, then I start to feel like a zombie. During my sleep test I was asleep for nearly 7 hours, and they said that I got just over 4 hours of “sleep”. I was wondering if the CPAP allows me to get better and deeper sleep, will I be sleeping less than 4 hours and waking up refreshed like 4-6 hours?

Another question that I have is the type of mask I should use. I currently have a full face mask, tried the nasal pillows, but kept opening my mouth during the first part of the night. The problem that I might have is that I have a full beard, think Duck Dynasty type or Santa, your choice. I had some nasal congestion when I was taking my sleep test, and that was one of the problems as I could not breath deep enough. I am going to try to use the full face mask, but would also like to try the nasal pillows later. Is there anything else I can do to get a good mask seal?

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Well, you're going to get better sleep on the CPAP yeah. But I don't think running on 4 hours of sleep as a matter of course is a good idea. You may find that CPAP allows you to sleep more and get more out of it.

I wish I had some advice on the beard. I'm normally clean shaven but I let my facial hair grow out over Christmas and my chinstrap was sliding all over it and making it itch like crazy. But maybe that's only with new growth. With the nasal pillows, you might try a chinstrap (I like the SP-CHADJ but there are tons and tons of them to try) to help keep your mouth closed.

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I like the nasal pillows and I am a mouth breather so have been using the chin strap. The problem is the chin strap is hit and miss. Sometimes I have a dry mouth, sometimes not so I think I'm destined for a full face mask when I go to see the therapist this week.
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The nasal mask with a chin strap works well for me. The pillows gave me a sore under my nose that I'm still trying to get cleared up. Probably because I had them cinched on too tightly. Tonight I'm going to give a full mask a try. I need that when I decide to have nasal congestion, so I'm hoping it will work well. Also I'm hoping I won't need a chin strap with it because I really don't like them all that much.

One last thing: My avatar would like to meet your avatar. Maybe over coffee?
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(02-15-2014, 04:21 PM)retired_guy Wrote: One last thing: My avatar would like to meet your avatar. Maybe over coffee?

Always up for a cup of coffee, however I think the drive would take way to long. Too-funny

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Welcome Rolland13, with sleep apnea, people think they are getting quality sleep but they are not, when we have a apnea (stop breathing for 10 secs or more) our brain goes into the fight or flight mode and wakes us either conciously or sub conciously, our blood rushes from our extremities (arms and legs) to our vital organs (heart and brain), imagine the stress this puts on our bodies. So that is why at your sleep study the said your actual sleep was 4 hours. So if you think you are sleeping 4 hours it could be 2 hours quality sleep anyway. CPAP will not help you sleep better but will help your breathe better when you sleep so in turn should help you sleep better but that also depends on other factors like good sleep hygiene. On the FFM, I suggest to newbies they use mask liners, you can buy them over the net or make them yourself, in the US you may be able to get them on insurance, I dont have a beard so not sure if they will help too much but wortha try. Also have the hose coming from above your head either over a bed head or you can buy or make a 'hose lift', that way the mask pulls up instead of down and saves you getting tangled, good luck.
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Hi Rolland13,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Don't be shy about trying different types of masks 'til you find the one that works for you. AS you have probably read here on the board, some people have to try many differentones.
Hang in there for more suggestions and best of luck to you with your CPAP therapy.
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G'day Rolland

I too am insomniac, related to fibromyalgia. Even with a full load of sleeping pills on board I would often not get to sleep until 2, 3 4am. Unlike you, though, I can't function on so little sleep. I'd usually toss & turn, disturb my wife, go to the spare bedroom and read or watch TV. Then I was crap for the next day. On the nights I did get to sleep I had severe apnea (AHI = 62) so I was still crap the next day. Sad

Since starting CPAP I find I get to sleep with no problems. The S9 VPAP Adapt supports my breathing so it's very easy to get into a semi-meditative state breathing slow and even. I'm out in seconds.

Good luck with your treatment - I'm sure you'll sleep better for longer.
Apnea Board Moderator


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Yeah I forgot to mention but I used to lie awake in bed for hours. I still usually go to bed around 12 in the morning but I have so much less trouble getting to sleep now that I am on CPAP.
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Full beard here too. If a chin strap works for you then great. Some have had some success with 'self-talk' - I can't do the strap, and the self-talk works for like 3 out of 5 nights. Enough that I can switch stuff around if I need/desire - but a FFM (sadly) is my ticket to consistent low leak levels and low AHI numbers. The problem with all masks, is what works for one, may not work at all for another.

So trying a different mask as often as your insurance will allow you to do so is key. I do well on a 'Swift LT' nasal pillows, on a 'Wisp' nasal mask, and either a 'Flexi-fit 431' (goes over the chin too), or a 'Simplus'. The FFM 'Simplus has a great double-seal that I can really crank down on, but it'll start leaking for me if my pressure goes about 18 or so (auto bi-level, normal is '13', but sometimes it spikes - so the high leak alarm goes off, my wife wakes me, I turn the machine off for a minute, change sleeping position, and turn my PAP back on and go back to sleep) - which doesn't happen but once or twice in a week.

Working to create new sleeping habits may be a help to you. I do suggest that you be open to change, and realize that these issues did not happen overnight, and most likely will take some time to improve as well.
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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