I have been reading threads here, and lurking around the treads a lot. I don't know you folks very well yet, and am getting to know the commenters here better by doing the lurking. I appreciate this forum, as finding others that are "recovering sleeplessites" that are willing to share their experiences is really great. [recovering sleeplessites is not a medical term! just made it up...].
All my working life as an RT, I was pretty good at intuitively listening to folks, in order to be a better therapist with the patients that came my way. In looking back over that 35+ years, I am amazed that I spent soooo much time focused on other's health problems, and not very much on my own health problems. Over ten years of a sleep disorder is a good example!
Anyway, I ramble.... Perhaps it is the recovered sleep I have gained that allows me to be in this sort of inquiry. I've been using my CPAP now for two and half months. I can't say that I am fully used to it.... Actually far from it. I notice that I still awaken x2 at night. Some nights many more than that. I don't take the mask off as much in my sleep now, tho. It's not the BPH that wakes me up like so many men in their sixties.... I am wondering if I am just "used to " shorter sleep periods from my working life.
When I became a RT many years ago, I started surviving on 4-6 hours a night of sleep because of the workload. [i worked in a small hospital for the first half of my career, and got called in a lot to the ER at night and weekends]. When I think about it, I think I may have had a sleep disorder for more than 30 years.
I don't know how I could have possibly survived that long with crappy, poor sleep patterns? Perhaps the following is how I did it: Good quality "off-time", lots of vitamins, great access to really great physicians that "doctored" me, strong belief in a higher power, and therapeutic massage on a regular basis..... [not nec. In that order]. These things I think have kept me alive this long.
When I retired a year ago from the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Pulmonary Diagnostics Services Dept., I really thought I was going to die for about a year prior to when I actually retired. Looking back, I see that I had finally met a certain degraded threshold of fatigue. I am only noticing this now as having actually regained some sleep benefit in the past two and a half months of night-time CPAP!
So my question. To everyone is this: did you have such a realization as you began recovering from your chronic sleeplessness?