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Sleep Apnea Exercises
#1
Has anyone here had any success with sleep apnea exercises?  I have only recently been diagnosed and started using my CPAP and am still struggling to get used to it to sleep through the night. 

I came across these exercises online last night.  They look so silly, but I will try anything that has a chance to help.  I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts about these exercises and if they have been effective.

Thanks.
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#2
G'day Zandor. Welcome to Apnea Board.

A quick Google search turned up this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19234106 which indicates some significant improvements when using prescribed exercises. However, even the most successful result did not get the AHI down low enough to dispense with the machine. So while there may be some benefit, the exercises won't replace a machine.

Most people struggle at first - it's quite a confronting thing to sleep with a plastic alien strapped to your face! But it does get better. We may be able to help if you're willing to share your data. Download SleepyHead software and post a screenshot - this will give us a lead on how to improve your therapy.

Best of luck
Paul
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
If your starting pressure is 4 to 5 cm, it may be too low a starting point. We'll be able to see that once you've got SleepyHead working.
Also, at the top of the page is link to where you can request the setup manual for most CPAPs. That would let you see what your specific model can do. There are some variations in how they may work and in how they report results.
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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#4
The exercises certainly won't hurt.   I practiced some before I received my cpap, and still do them occasionally.

The one I felt helped to strengthen my throat muscles was simply to slide the tongue slowly from the front roof of mouth to the back of throat without lifting tongue, and hold to a count of 10.  Then, without lifting your tongue, slide it forward and hold to a count of 10.  
Repeat 6 to 8 times.  

You can actually feel the muscles in jaw and neck tighten.  

You can do this at work, or at home, and no one knows you are exercising.   Smile

Some also claim that playing instruments like the didgeridoo or oboe can strengthen throat muscles.

Note: This won't replace Cpap, but may make it easier to adapt to treatment.
OpalRose
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

How to Organize and Post ScreenShots

http://sleep.tnet.com/resources/sleepyhead/shorganize
https://sleep.tnet.com/reference/tips/imgur

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#5
Thank you for the replies. I also appreciate the encouragement. I have never had such health issues and this is my first encounter with anything so debilitating as a fairly active 35 yr old man.

I will definitely try to get my data uploaded, as I would certainly appreciate any tips / advice I can get to help me sleep through the night. In the last week, I have had a major break through in that I am finally able to fall asleep with the mask on. I am experimenting with different variables (FFM or Nose Mask, Taping my mouth, chin straps , dry mouth xylimelt tablets).

I currently take 1 mg of Lunesta and am able to fall asleep fairly easily. My current struggles are to do w/ staying asleep. I wake up usually 2-3 hours later and thereafter as much as once per hour. This challenge has eaten up all of my spare bandwidth outside of work. I fantasize about sleeping 7-8 hours straight through the night and feeling rested.

This board has been a great resource. I know there are others that have it way worse than I do, so I appreciate the comments.
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#6
Hi Zandor435,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP therapy can take some getting used to, but I want to encourage you to stick with it, it does get better after a while.
Good luck to you on your CPAP journey, hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#7
(04-25-2017, 11:31 AM)Zandor435 Wrote: ... My current struggles are to do w/ staying asleep.  I wake up usually 2-3 hours later and thereafter as much as once per hour.  ...

You may want to consider sleep restriction therapy which helps your body relearn how to sleep more normally.
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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#8
Thanks again for all the encouragement from several of you.  I have two questions / comments.

1.) I downloaded sleepyhead and watched about an hour's worth of videos on how to use it and how to identify (validate) certain events.  I am struggling to see how my data is actionable.  I understand that many of my events are not actual events upon further inspection.  But some of my events are actual events.  Am I just supposed to keep experimenting with different settings and monitor it with sleepyhead, or does sleepyhead data actually point me in a direction?

Attached are three screenshots.  Two overviews and one example of an event.  I am not sure what data is best to post.


2.) I am struggling to figure out why I am waking up so much on my machine.  I am taking a lunesta (1mg) which should put me out for at least 5-6 hours.  The last several nights I have woken up around 2 hours after falling asleep and thereafter every 2 hours again.  I am looking for other things I can experiment with

I currently am taping my mouth shut.  It is not at all uncomfortable for me.  I was experiencing dry mouth, so i use xylimelts and tape to make sure i don't mouth breath.  I have also tried both the nasal mask and the ffm.  I can fall asleep with both, but wake up with both.  I sleep predominantly on my back.  I am wondering if I should try to side sleep.  I read some about my tongue falling back.  Is that possible?

I appreciate any thoughts or ideas.
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#9
Thanks for submitting some data for consideration. The solution to your issues is probably as easy as an increase in minimum pressure. The number of CA events is concerning, however these issues seem to quiet when CPAP pressure is greater than 8.0 With open settings your median pressure is now 8.0. You need to change your minimum CPAP pressure from 4.0 to 8.0. Some patients, and even doctors think that because a CPAP has an auto function they do not need to modify the settings. This error causes many people arriving at this forum to have a very high event rate. It usually clears up very rapidly with minor optimizing changes are implemented.

There is a possibility that you may have complex apnea, which has an occurrence of 7-15% of apnea patients. That is not so uncommon as it means between 3 adn 7 in 100 have it. We have to try to smooth out the pressure to rule out that these events are obstructive in origin. Widely varying pressures also lend themselves to CA events. The main question back to you is, did the results of your diagnostic or titration studies show an incidence of central apnea or hypopnea?
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#10
I have gotten into provider mode and changed my minimum pressure to 8 and will test it tonight.  I am in such a better place with this process and machine than I was a week ago.

you guys are a lifesaver.  Thanks for the suggestions.
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