Ok, so I have had a long journey to getting a CPAP machine. I won’t go into all of the details because I don’t want to bore you all. Suffice it to say, I started (I think anyway) sleeping badly around 17-18 years of age. I did a sleep study in 2005 that showed a lot of arousals, but (for some reason) didn’t look like sleep apnea. Four years later, I started getting migraines with stroke-like symptoms so I started digging into the root cause again. I ended up with 2 surgeries to correct deviated septum, and it helped but didn’t fix it. So I figured that was my lot in life. However, this year, I was encouraged to try a sleep study again, and I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea (hooray!!), and something else to do with heart strain (hypopnea? I don’t know, they didn’t give me any paperwork, so I have no clue).

I have a ResMed AirSense 10 Autoset. On the positive side, I have definitely seen a huge uptick in energy and restfulness from what I had previously, so that is great. The experience is definitely net positive.

One challenge I have (and it seems to be worsening) is I am still not able to simply go to sleep and wake up in the morning. I have worked very hard on increasing physical exercise, sticking to a strong sleep hygiene program, keeping my bedroom dark, temperate, quiet and only using it for sleep. But I still get very poor sleep the first half of the night and, after a number of nights of taking notes, I feel like I have a general idea of what is causing it, but that general idea makes no sense given that I am using my CPAP machine every single night. I seem to be unable to get enough oxygen or take in enough air in the first half of the night, so my muscles (especially leg muscles) get very achy and restless. I typically wake up 2 or 3 times a night and am up for 20-60 minutes each time before I am able to fall asleep. Stretching, walking around, going outside for fresh air, and (for some reason) snacking seem to help me eventually get to sleep.

I thought the pressure of the ramp up was not enough (not forcing enough air into my lungs), so I turned off the ramp up and it seemed to help once and then hurt more every other time afterwards.

I am getting, as I mentioned, AMAZING sleep for the second half of the night, and that is far better/more than I had been previously.

Does this sound like a something to anyone? Is it how I am using the CPAP machine? Comorbidity with a third condition? I am at a loss and would really, really appreciate any help anyone could offer in terms of a direction to turn/investigate.

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