Feel worse with CPAP?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by pam933 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:01 am

I've been using CPAP for 18 nights and I feel significantly worse than when I started. Has any one else had that experience? I feel even more tired than before, I'm having much more trouble concentrating at work and have increased my caffeine levels to make up for it. I really want to stop using the machine for a couple nights to get some better sleep (although that seems counter productive).

My sleep apnea is mild. My pressure is supposed to be at 7 and when I turn my machine on it says CPAP 7.0 so it seems like that's not a problem. My numbers look good -last night they were Leaks=.04, AHI = 3.8, AI = 0, and HI = 3.8 which is pretty typical of the numbers I've been getting. So, it doesn't make any sense to me - even if I don't feel better yet I shouldn't be feeling worse. I started using the Swift LT for Her and then switched to the Respironics Easy Life Nasal mask because I've been congested and I thought it might be easier to breath using that when I'm congested. The only difference in my sleep that I've noticed is that I remember waking up a few times a night to adjust my mask (or withthe Easy Life mask because my nose was itching), but that's it. I don't wake up with a dry mouth in the morning so I'm assuming that I'm not breathing through my mouth.

I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow, but judging from the past I don't know how helpful she'll be.

Any ideas/suggestions?

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by BlackSpinner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:13 am

Mouth leaks are always the first suspect and not having a dry mouth can just mean that the leaks/ mouth breathing isn't at the level where it dries out your mouth.

It can also take up to a month for your brain to give up and let you sleep deeply with that thing on your face.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by kteague » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:42 am

All the new sensations can be the cause of feeling worse before feeling better. Keeps the brain on alert. Once the air and the mask and the headgear begins to feel "normal" your sleep should improve. I agree with BlackSpinner about the brain needing time to adjust to all the changes. And I agree with you that sleeping without it would be counterproductive, as the brain gets the idea if it protests it gets its way, rather than adjust.

You are in a good position since you do have data to guide you in assessing whether effectiveness of your treatment is an issue or not. When problems continue for an extended period (which is different for everyone), investigation of other causes would be the next step. Was there any indication in your studies or by anyone observing you sleep of limb movements during sleep?

Hopefully this will run a natural course and your sleep will soon improve.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by KatieW » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:46 am

How many hours of sleep are you getting? I found I had to wean myself off caffeine to get good sleep. Do it gradually so you don't get a caffeine headache.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by Guest » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:38 pm

Thanks all.

I did have a lot of limb movements in my titration study, but hardly any in my PSG study - so there could be something with that.
I do have a chin strap, so I'll try that for a few nights and see if that helps.
And you're right, I probably am not getting enough sleep - I think it's around 7 hours a night, but I probably could use at least 8 - especially right now. I do want to get off the caffeine, but I can't imagine doing it right now, maybe if I adjust to this then I can do that once I feel a little better.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by TheTwinsMom1 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:57 pm

I have been using CPAP since March 29th and for the first little bit I felt the exact same way. Was even more tired. Talked to Sleep Doctor and friends who also have OSA and they said it can take a month or so for your body to get used to sleeping normally and it should go away. For me it's just starting to turn the corner where I am not waking up exhausted.
APAP Pressure of 12-20, EPR of 3, CMS-50F Oximeter, PapCap, and Regenesis Pillow. 200mg Provigil in the AM. Also diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by SingleMom » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:33 pm

Just *my* experience. I've been on CPAP 2 years this month.

About a year-ish ago (until just recently) I started feeling crappy again. Napping while the kids were at school, over sleeping in the morning, not focused on anything, etc.

My Doc started me on sertraline (zoloft) after checking all basic blood levels. It didn't seem to do much, I still had no energy.

Went back to Doc and he started me in physical therapy. I have mild scoliosis, and an accessory navicular bone in my feet (causes pain). Between the meds and the forced work outs (AKA; PT) I'm finally starting to feel better. Now that I'm able to stay out of bed long enough to do things, I'm riding my bike again, started a diet, go to bed on time and get up the same time even on weekends.

I do have OSA, but unknown depression caused the CPAP benefit to be minimal (the way I physically felt, but the benefits are always there).


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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by Waiting2Inhale » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:00 pm

I have been using my new CPAP for about 3 weeks. Had dry mouth problems the first week and got a chin strap. That helped. I have no problem wearing my mask all night long, but instead of waking up refreshed and rested, I wake up totally exhausted. Much more tired and miserable than before i began using my CPAP. I'm so disappointed. Seeing my sleep doc tomorrow. I was glad to see that I wasn't the only one who has this problem though. I'm hoping it passes as my brain gets used to me sleeping with *that thing on my head*.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by tammyv » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:16 pm

I felt great the first night and after that, horrible. Headaches, tired. just plain woren out.
My pressure is at a 10 and I was just given a new mask because my eyes were burning to much(leakage?)

I will fight this for a few more weeks to get it adjusted than I will have to seek out other answers.
Hang in there!!!

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by cobra4x4 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:25 pm

Do a search on "sleep debt", that is what you are most likely experiencing.

Since your body has been deprived of sleep for so long, it needs to play catchup to an extent. The body also needs to be re-trained on how & when to sleep along with making adjustments. All this equates to sleep debt, my respirologist suggested that for a period of 30 days ( which I followed) I should go to sleep at the same time every night ( I chose 10pm) and try to wake at the same time (which varied with my work schedule). When the respirologist said go to sleep he meant sleep as in lights out (No TV, No reading & No sex).

It seemed to work fine for me.

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Re: Feel worse with CPAP?

Post by elena88 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Im sorry you are feeling worse and not better. I have heard this happens a lot until you get used to the machine.
I have been on apap for a couple months, I have had about three or four good nights, the rest of the mornings I wake up totally exhausted, or
feeling like I drank a quart of tequila the night before. I used to have a ton of energy before I got diagnosed, but I did have some nasty side effects
of the OSA, I didn't know about too.
I also have the nasal pillows, and learned to breath thru my mouth, but now I tape it. I dont know what goes on at night while Im sleeping, but
whatever is happening, when I wake up, I just feel like ten trucks ran over me, instead the the ONE truck before I got diagnosed.
Perhaps that is the repayment of the sleep deficit.. So hang in there, they say it will get better.

Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
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