Sleeping without CPAP machine. What can happen?
My husband removes the cpap during the night if it gets bothersome.
I listen and many times he does not take a breath for 2-3 minutes.
What permanent effects can happen?
Permanent side effects of sleeping without a CPAP in patients with sleep apnea are:
Just about everyone who gets on PAP therapy goes through a period of pulling the mask off and waking up to find the machine off and not realizing you've done it. It's often difficult to exactly know why this happens - meaning (why is it?) your body can't logically accept something that is medically good for you when you're sleeping?
Finding the right solutions to keeping the mask on all night can be a long period of trial and error for some people. Also, finding the right mask
is half the battle and perhaps you haven't found yours yet.
For me, when I've tried new masks I can usually tell right away the first hour that a new mask is just not going to work. It doesn't go on for weeks or months for me - wondering if it's the new mask that is causing the problem. Use of the humidifier also has come naturally - I can tell right away when I'm too dry and need more moisture.
You should also consider the whole issue of sleep hygiene as an extremely important factor in getting used to PAP and keeping the mask on - sleep hygiene as meaning all the little things you do during the day and just before bed that will set you up for a restful period of 8 hours.
Google 'sleep hygiene' to research the whole subject. The biggie here is not to eat close to bedtime and actually try to get some light exercise before bedtime. This will get your body set up for depletion of calories and a bit of physical exhaustion which is good to promote sleep.
We often get a bit sleepy before bedtime but wrongly interpret this as being hungary and go to eat snacks which give us energy an hour later and may lead to waking up at the wrong times during the night.
The main problem most people have is the mask--they have to try several, and most durable medical equipment companies will let you return a mask within the first 30 days, so if it's not right you can try another.
Check the page about CPAP mask problems
to discover other problems that may help your husband.
I hope it helps.
If you have other experiences and opinions regarding this problem, please comment below. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide