How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
Matt00926
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How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Matt00926 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:14 am

Using a bi-level device I have improved my AHI and oxygen saturation recordings but I still struggle with waking up every hour or two in the night.

From doing a bit of "Google research" it seems that waking up 3-4 times a night is normal, and that the whole "sleep 8 hours through the night" being normal is a myth. Still, I do remember a time where I used to wake up maybe once or twice in a night, and not every hour or two. And found it way easier to fall back asleep.

I usually drink one strong coffee beverage in the morning and that's pretty much my caffeine for the day. I am rather sedentary working an office job, and don't engage in any type of purposeful exercise routine. I also have a bad habit of laying down before sleep and messing around on my laptop.
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ChicagoGranny
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by ChicagoGranny » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:21 am

Matt00926 wrote:How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?
For me?
The Oft Overlooked Part of Good CPAP Therapy

- Practice good sleep hygiene (Google it and read several sources)
- Eat a good diet
- Have a regular, moderate exercise program
- Try to avoid daytime naps
- Practice total abstinence of caffeine including sources like chocolate (sigh)
- Review all medicines, vitamins and supplements you are taking to make sure none are interfering with sleep
- Use the bedroom for sleeping (and sex) only, and make sure the bedroom and bed are comfortable.
- Learn to appropriately handle emotional stress in your life
- Do not listen to your breathing or the sound of the machine as you are falling asleep.
- Distract your mind by thinking of a pleasant, relaxing activity that you enjoy. Thinking of sitting under an umbrella on a quiet beach with a warm gentle breeze works for me.
- Use CPAP software, such as the free SleepyHead, to make sure your therapy is optimized
- If you still don't feel or sleep well, make sure you have regular medical checkups to confirm there are no other medical problems

CG

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Pugsy
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Pugsy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:26 am

Matt00926 wrote:I do remember a time where I used to wake up maybe once or twice in a night, and not every hour or two.
I think probably we just didn't wake up long enough to develop a memory of the wake up on those nights where we felt like the wake ups were minimal or non existent.

My thoughts on the matter now...I think that if I remember so and so number of wake ups there probably are even more that I don't remember.

As to your question what works? That's still a work in progress since I woke way too early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep and got approx 4 hours of sleep and my butt is dragging already.
Night before I got about 8 hours..the night before that 4 hours and the night before that about 4 hours again. Used to be the short nights were rare but now the 8 hour nights are rare. Bad trend and I don't know what to do about it because I don't know why it is happening. I think stress related to some extent but fixing it isn't so easy.
I may have to RISE but I refuse to SHINE.

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jnk...
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by jnk... » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:34 am

-jeff, a user (not a pro) who suffers from an ongoing, long-term, nocturnal addiction to air (S9/P10)

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Pugsy
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Pugsy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:58 am

yeah, yeah, yeah...I know.

I am pretty sure that my stress is related to my mom's recent breast cancer diagnosis and all that stuff that goes along with realizing that your 85 year old mom is having problems....and won't live forever.
but knowing it and fixing it is 2 different things.

This insomnia is different from past pain related sleep quality issues. It all started not long after my mom's mastectomy as I am watching her mind and body start to fail and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
Removing this stress is easier said than done.
I am not giving up though. I am still trying various things including a wacky weed trial in December when I went to Vegas to see my daughter and grandson and wacky weed is now legal. Couldn't tell it helped any though and not sure I liked the drunk feeling anyway.
Next up on the experiment list is some gummy bears with CBD in them to see if it helps or not. Just getting over an upper respiratory infection and was waiting for that annoyance to be out of the picture before the CBD experiment.

The sleep apnea stuff...cake walk compared to this insomnia crap.
I may have to RISE but I refuse to SHINE.

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AMK
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by AMK » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:02 am

Probably a little exercise, even just a little walking, would help. I say that as someone who has not yet taken that advice, myself. Screens mess us up before bed...at the very least make sure you have f.lux installed on your laptop. I have noticed a difference in sleep quality on the nights when I don't have a screen in front of my face immediately prior to going to sleep, even with f.lux. Blue light is the worst, and I hate that my cpap emits a blue light to "help me out" if I get up during the night.

Also I've read that we train our brains to make associations, and it's important to have our brains associate the bed only with sleeping (& sex). I broke myself of the habit of reading in bed for this reason.

Then of course there's the age thing where we don't sleep like we used to. I take a tiny dose of Trazodone every night which helps me stay asleep.

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Jay Aitchsee
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Jay Aitchsee » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:46 am

Review Granny's checklist and jnk's reference from Mayo above.

Do try to work in an exercise regimen. I recommend something moderate, like walking 30 - 60 minutes first thing in the morning (I ride my bike). Make it a habit.
Get rid of the computer at night. Go to bed early enough (the same time every night-even on weekends) to get at least 7 hours of sleep before waking.
Have your vitamin D3 checked, supplement if necessary to keep it around 50ng/ml. While you're at it, have your ferritin, magnesium, and B12 levels checked.
Optimize your cpap therapy. A higher than desired CAI could indicate disturbances caused by less than optimal pressure settings and/or disturbances from other sources such as failure to observe good sleep hygiene, too much caffeine, sleeping conditions, etc.

Review Granny's and jnk's posts.

Oh, and don't obsess over wakeups.

wellfrancis
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by wellfrancis » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:49 am

Try these tips
1.Avoid consuming caffeine.
2.Don't drink alcohol.
3.Optimize Bedroom environment.
Minimize external noise, light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place.
4.Don't Eat Late in the evening.
5.Take a bath.
6.Exercise Regularly .
7.Don't drink any liquids before sleep.

robz
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by robz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:15 am

I second the magnesium and D supplementation......Once you start getting up to the 250mg to 350mg of magnesium a day, you will find that not only initiating sleep will be easier, but sustaining sleep will be easier, as there is more suppression of cortisol and adrenaline....at least I noticed this from my experimentation....But also as said, vitamin D will be very helpful as well....like described above, once you get to the 50 plus level, this will help with initiating and getting into a deeper sleep as well......at least from my experience......its important if you start supplementing with D, to add vitamin k2 to that routine.....

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nolongersleepless
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by nolongersleepless » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:00 pm

As someone with long standing issues with insomnia, I feel your pain. There is lots of good advice on this thread but I had one more thought. Light from lap top screens tends to be in the blue part of the visual spectrum, which your brain reads as "day time". So, good sleep hygiene says "don't use your computer just before bed time" but, if that is not really an option for you, try downloading an app that will change the color of your monitor in the evening to be more in the yellow part of the spectrum. You could also try switching out the light bulb in your bed room to a yellow bulb. There are fancy expensive ones that you can buy on the internet, or you could do what I did, which is to go and buy a "bug light" at the hardware store which is essentially a light bulb painted yellow (I was skeptical, but it did help). good luck, I would love to hear back about anything that worked for you.

blacknebula
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by blacknebula » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:58 pm

The Oft Overlooked Part of Good CPAP Therapy

- Do not listen to your breathing or the sound of the machine as you are falling asleep.
Just curious - what is the reasoning behind this? I find listening to my breathing quite calming actually, and gives me something to focus on to keep my mind from wandering to paying the mastercard bill / taking the roast out to thaw / buying my son new shoes / etc.

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ChicagoGranny
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by ChicagoGranny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:12 pm

blacknebula wrote: I find listening to my breathing quite calming
Me too. It's a pleasant reminder that my sleep apnea will be well treated throughout the night.

But, that list is to cover a broad spectrum of CPAP users who are having problems. Many users experience anxiety about the CPAP process and need to relax. The sound of the machine makes some anxious. Newbies, especially, may try to "time" their breathing with the sound of the machine and pressure of the system. You can see many newbies posting here about having problems synchronizing their breathing with the machine. That's wrong - it's the opposite - the CPAP machine synchronizes with the user's breathing. (ASV is one exception.)

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Allessio77
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Allessio77 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:30 pm

ChicagoGranny wrote:
blacknebula wrote: I find listening to my breathing quite calming
Me too. It's a pleasant reminder that my sleep apnea will be well treated throughout the night.

But, that list is to cover a broad spectrum of CPAP users who are having problems. Many users experience anxiety about the CPAP process and need to relax. The sound of the machine makes some anxious. Newbies, especially, may try to "time" their breathing with the sound of the machine and pressure of the system. You can see many newbies posting here about having problems synchronizing their breathing with the machine. That's wrong - it's the opposite - the CPAP machine synchronizes with the user's breathing. (ASV is one exception.)

I also find the 'noise' of my breath relaxing!. You know, all my life I have tried unsuccessfully to meditate...everyone recommends it for stress, etc. But it was not till I could hear my breath via my APAP that I think I finally get it!!

But what I really would like to know for when you do suffer from Insomnia, do you keep your machine on or off. It strikes me that if you leave it on, it will affect your AHI by diluting the index with hours in which you were not asleep1 Am I missing something?

Of course, you might miss the queue for flipping it back on, if you are not paying attention, and you drift off.

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ChicagoGranny
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by ChicagoGranny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:15 pm

Allessio77 wrote:But what I really would like to know for when you do suffer from Insomnia, do you keep your machine on or
The standard advice is to get up and do something calming like reading. Go back to bed later. (I don't follow this advice. )

Allessio77 wrote:do you keep your machine on or off.
Allessio77 wrote:Of course, you might miss the queue for flipping it back on, if you are not paying attention, and you drift off.
Yes, anytime I am lying in bed, the machine is on and running. Like you, I would be afraid of falling asleep and having a long cluster of apneas wake me up with my head throbbing.

Allessio77 wrote:It strikes me that if you leave it on, it will affect your AHI by diluting the index with hours in which you were not asleep1
It's the choice between having an understated AHI and falling asleep without the CPAP running.
Am I missing something?
Use Sleepyhead software. Look at the daily detail charts. Look for the number/type/length of events when you think you were asleep.

What is your typical AHI?

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Pugsy
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Re: How to improve quality of sleep - what works for you?

Post by Pugsy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:32 pm

Allessio77 wrote:do you keep your machine on or off. It strikes me that if you leave it on, it will affect your AHI by diluting the index with hours in which you were not asleep1 Am I missing something?
Given the choice between maybe a less than "accurate" AHI and falling asleep without the machine being on I choose "less than accurate" any day of the week. The less than accurate AHI is a maybe...the bad stuff that happens if I sleep without the machine is a 100% certainty.
I won't risk it just to have a maybe undiluted AHI nor a maybe elevated AHI because of SWJ events getting flagged by mistake while awake.
If I am laying down in bed in the middle of the night and I am awake...the mask and machine is on.
If I determine I am just not getting back to sleep then I turn the machine of and get up out of bed and go do something.
If I get sleepy again I put the mask on and lay back down.
I learned a long time ago that I don't lay there thinking "I will put the mask on IF I get sleepy"...because we don't often get adequate warning that we are going to fall asleep.
I may have to RISE but I refuse to SHINE.