a person falls asleep without their CPAP mask on while it sits behind them

The Best Intentions With CPAP (And When They Don't Work Out)

Last updated: January 2023

In pretty much all of my articles, I encourage those of us who use a CPAP machine to use them on a nightly basis.

And in this article, I will also encourage that use. But I am going to share a recent experience I had without using it – not on purpose, just the way things worked out.

My bedtime routine

For 2 nights in a row, I fell asleep without putting on the headgear for my CPAP machine. Part of my bedtime routine is to put that on about half an hour before I fall asleep so I can start getting used to breathing with the machine running. It has now become almost comforting. And that also signals to my body that it is time for sleep, so I just drift off peacefully!

Part of my other routine (and I know we're not supposed to do this, but it works for me) is taking my tablet to bed with me. Sometimes I cruise the internet for a bit. But usually, I check the weather, news, and then start to wind down by playing a game. Nothing with flashy lights or sounds. Something more like Solitaire, FreeCell, Mahjong, etc...

2 nights without using my CPAP

These 2 nights, however, I must have been extremely tired. Because when I woke up both mornings, the tablet was lying next to me in bed. And that never happens! With my headgear for my CPAP still lying right where it does when not in use.

When I woke up the first day after not using the CPAP machine, I felt fine. I did my normal routine for the entire day, no problems. However, though I still felt fine the next morning, things just weren't quite right.

Impacts on my other health issues

I have other health issues for which I need a good night's sleep. Health issues, like myasthenia gravis, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, just to name a few.

Diabetes and high blood pressure

Diabetes and blood pressure can go hand in hand with sleep apnea. I could be making those 2 conditions worse without a good night's sleep using my CPAP (or whatever might be used to treat sleep apnea).

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder where sleep and good rest is our friend (as well as a treatment when our muscles are tired).

For all 3 of my health conditions, I have found they all get worse without using my CPAP machine. But I was not prepared for what the results were going to be!!

High temperatures and humidity

Now I am going to say, with myasthenia gravis, the weather also affects my symptoms and we had extremely high temperatures. With heat advisories, the temperature was about 100 degrees and the humidity level was around 90.

That can be normal for this time of year where I live. For me, there may be some problems, but nothing like I experienced this day. Not only from the symptoms of myasthenia gravis but also from high blood pressure and diabetes!

Not using my CPAP made everything worse

As I said, the day started off OK – and just OK. But by noon, I was so exhausted. My blood sugars were up in the 400s. And I'm sure my blood pressure was up. I went to bed, put on my CPAP headgear, and ended up sleeping until 4:30 PM.

When I woke up, my blood sugar was down below 200. So, between the heat and humidity and not using my CPAP machine, I believe that all contributed to the day that I had. The biggest factor, I believe, was not using my CPAP.

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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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