Since July 27th, I’ve been using a C-PAP machine to cope with sleep apnea. I’ve used it every night, but have been disappointed because my quality of sleep hasn’t improved as markedly as I’d hoped. “What would happen if I stopped using the C-PAP machine?” I’ve wondered. Last night I got the answer.
I’m still sick, but now the illness has spread beyond my throat. My sinuses are stuffy. Since the C-PAP machine requires the user to breathe through the nose, it’s impossible to use when one has a cold. I slept without it last night for the first time in three months. This morning, I’m exhausted.
Here’s how a typical night works when I use the C-PAP machine:
- I take between one and three mg of melatonin a half an hour before bed.
- When I’m ready to fall asleep, I strap on the breathing mask. I fall asleep within a couple of minutes.
- I sleep soundly for most of the night. Occasionally I wake because the mask has slipped and is leaking air. Else, I wake maybe once each night.
- About once every couple weeks I have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
- When I wake in the morning, I’m not exactly refreshed, but I feel okay. I certainly don’t need naps during the day.
Here’s how I slept last night:
- I took three mg of melatonin at bedtime.
- It took a while to fall asleep, but I was out by 10:15.
- I woke at 11:45.
- I woke at 1:15 and had to go to the bathroom.
- I woke at 2:45.
- I woke at 3:45.
- I woke at 4:15 and had to go to the bathroom.
- I woke at 4:45.
- I woke at 5:15.
- When I got out of bed at 5:30, I was exhausted. I’m still exhausted.
Last night is typical of my sleep pattern before I got the C-PAP machine. It seems that the time and expense have been worth it after all. I’m generally not as wholly rested in the morning as I ought to be (this could be improved by getting an extra half hour of sleep, I think), but at least I don’t have to take naps during the day. There’s no question that I’m going to have to catch an hour of sleep at some point today. It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open. I need to drive to Salem and back shortly; that’s going to be a challenge.