Background: I’m 35, thin (165 lbs), non-smoker or drinker, good diet, and had a sleep study from 7 years ago that showed I have severe obstructive sleep apnea—AHI 29, RDI 36. I got fitted with a CPAP and—certainly not uncommon among those with sleep apnea—couldn’t stand it. The rest is a blur to me, as I spiraled into a period of drug abuse and suicidal ideation that I only got under control last year. Wasn’t much of a desire to improve my health when I was wishing I was dead 24/7.
Flash forward to today: I’m finally ready to tackle this thing again, and quickly. I’ve been exhausted all day, every day, and my depression is at an all-time high. After bloodwork for testosterone levels, thyroid, glucose levels, anemia—all of which turned out normal—plus practicing a good diet, exercising regularly, weekly therapy, taking various vitamins and supplements…it’s all but confirmed that sleep apnea is the root of this constant fatigue and depression I’m feeling.
As expected, it’ll probably be a long while before I’m able to get another sleep consultation/study done. In the meantime, is there ANYTHING I can do to make even a dent in this fatigue and grogginess I feel all day?
I’ve been prescribed Modafinil to help with excessive daytime sleepiness—it can definitely help after especially bad nights, but never for more than a few days in a row. I sleep on my side (my girlfriend is a light sleeper and immediately prods me if I roll onto my back). I wear nose strips, which definitely help (if I run out, it’s like night and day with how groggy I feel the next day, just to give you an idea of how bad this shit is). I use a saline nasal wash. I vacuum my floor and change my pillow slips frequently to get rid of dust and dander. As I said before, I’m thin, don’t smoke or drink. I even tried putting surgical tape over my mouth. I notice no difference.
I want to get at least a little bit of relief while I wait for this study and give CPAP another try, but what can I do literally tonight? Is there anything I can get over the counter that can help, like a mouth guard? Is there an especially good nasal spray I can use? Does mouth-taping make much of a difference? Anything at all just to make life easier while I wait this out.