a woman staring tiredly at a slug crawling past her

How I Felt Before CPAP Therapy

The best way I can describe how I felt before starting continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is feeling hungover without drinking. I felt awful! The morning headaches, the daytime fatigue, the lack of motivation, I felt like a slug going through life.

It’s crazy how you don’t realize how bad you feel till you feel good. So many people go through life not knowing they have sleep apnea. For me, I simply thought this was normal.

Waking throughout the night

I was that person who could never fall asleep. I would lay in bed for hours watching the clock as the hours passed by. Having insomnia was something that I had dealt with for years. Looking back I remember even as a child struggling to fall asleep all the way through college. I was averaging 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night, and getting up in the morning was a struggle. I would hit snooze several times, which usually had me running late.

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Once I was finally able to fall asleep, it wasn’t too long before I would find myself awake. It had gotten so bad that one night, I counted 9 times I had woken up and actually got up. It was not uncommon for my husband to find me wide awake in the middle of the night reading a book, or playing on my phone. I would watch my husband sleep and wish I could get a good night's sleep.

Terrible morning headaches

I would wake up with terrible morning headaches that would typically carry through the day. Not to mention waking up feeling like I didn’t get any sleep, and feeling exhausted. It was my headaches that actually brought me to my doctor.

I knew taking medication daily to relieve my headaches was not a good thing. It was at that visit that we discussed the possibility of having sleep apnea due to insomnia, the frequent nightly awakenings, morning headaches, daytime fatigue, and lack of motivation. She recommended that I have a sleep study to determine if I had sleep apnea.

Living off of caffeine

Walking through life in a fog, utterly exhausted, I was living off coffee. Several cups of coffee and soda were what kept me functioning. I had little to no energy, which was extremely frustrating when I had things that I wanted to accomplish.

At the end of my work day, I couldn’t wait to get home to take a nap on the couch.

Irritable, anxious, and miserable

The lack of sleep made me irritable, anxious, depressed, and frustrated. I so badly wanted to feel good, and have the energy to do things. However, being exhausted held me back from accomplishing the things I so badly wanted to do.

It was a snowball effect. The lack of energy caused me to become depressed because I wasn’t motivated to do the things I needed to do. Simple tasks such as laundry were exhausting.

The combination of irritability, frustration, and utter exhaustion left me very miserable. I was very short-tempered, little things would set me off.

Can you relate to how Genna felt before starting treatment for sleep apnea? How did you feel before CPAP therapy? Tell us more in the comments below

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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