Sleep apnea and Insomnia
by Sleep anonymous
I can get to sleep, but wake after an hour or two. Then it is impossible to get back to sleep. I asked my doctor for a prescription for Lunesta.
Tried it last night and it did help a bit to sleep longer. However, I hate to have to be addicted to sleeping pills.
If I can't sleep, however, I cannot keep my CPAP mask on. Very frustrating.
Wish there was a natural way to stay asleep. Any ideas?
Firstly, I want to say something about Lunesta
, and other sleep medications.
Lunesta can actually make the sleep apnea worst, but I think the thought here is it's better to get some treatment
than none until you can fully adapt. So I understand why you take sleep medication.
Either way, medication isn't really the answer and you should try to find a way to adapt to the machine.
Now, maybe you are wondering why can lunesta make sleep apnea worse?
When you go to sleep your body goes into a very relaxed paralytic state. With OSA (assuming your apneas are obstructive) this relaxation causes the muscles and tissues in your mouth and throat to loosen up which narrows your airway and leads to cessation of breathing.
This relaxation happens to everyone but some people already have narrow airways or any number of other physical variables which contribute to actual blockage of the airway.
Sleep medication makes your body and muscles relax even more which can increase the number of apnea/hypopnea events. I believe this is also true for other alcohol, narcotic/barbituates and muscle relaxers.
That's not to say it can't be used as a tool to help people adjust but it should really only be a stepping stone to help people adjust.
I strongly believe that behavioral treatments
for insomnia have significant advantages. Research has shown that behavioral treatments are as likely or more likely than medication to succeed over the long term, and they do not carry the health risks or side effects of sleeping pills.
- I recommend hot baths before you get to sleep. You take a long, hot bath an hour or two before bedtime, which raises your core body temperature and delays its eventual nighttime drop.
Although the effect is not huge, altering the body temperature cycle seems to help some people fall asleep more easily and get more sleep.
This treatment causes no harm and its feels good, so there's no harm in trying it:)
- exercise regularly - exercise also improve sleep.
Research has repeatedly shown that exercise provide three critical benefits: you fall asleep faster, attain a higher percentage of deep sleep, and awaken less often during the night.
You don't have to run marathons or play full-court football to earn exercise's benefits. Most of the advantages come from temporarily elevating your heart rate for twenty to thirty minutes three or more times a week.
So, brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and aerobics all accomplish this.
Some people recommend to exercise before bedtime. I personally don't agree, but you can experience.
I don't exercise too close to bedtime because this is a stimulating activity that can make it harder to fall asleep. If you finish exercising at least two hours before bedtime, you'll eliminate the risk.
- Sleep hygiene, such as:
- keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
- develop a presleep routine - start by setting aside fifteen to twenty minutes to resolve any mundane matters that might otherwise be on your mind if left undone when you go to bed (unwashed dishes, plans for the next day, etc.)
- reserve the bedroom for sleep and intimacy
- avoid frequent naps.
- if you can't sleep, get out of bed. Bed is for sleep, not frustration.
Get up and do something soothing, such as reading or drinking milk or herbal tea.
- Control bedroom noise. Maybe your CPAP machine has a high noise level...
- block out light.
- keep your bedroom cool and well ventilated.
- Hide the clock - the clock can be a taunting reminder that you're awake, both when you're trying to fall asleep and when you wake up during the night.
- Make your bed comfortable - you need a bed you like using, so put some effort into finding the comfort, firmness, and design that suit you.
Test some other mattress and buy the one you like it. Same for the pillows.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening and stop smoking - nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that speed your heart rate and incites fast brain waves activity that interferes with your sleep.
Well, I think you have now an idea how can you help yourself getting a good sleep.
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide