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Sleep Apnea
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CPAP makes me more tired

Posted by sleepy and distracted on June 29, 2007 at 11:15:25:

I recently had a sleep study in at the urging of my husband and because I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and found a number of references to sleep issues causing it. The result was mild to moderate sleep apnea. I average 8 arousals per hour but they occur mostly when I am in rem sleep
(up to 15 per hour during rem). I stop breathing for 30 to 90 seconds at a time.

So I got a RemMasterPro M series cpap and a Respironics comfort gel nose mask. I kept it on for about 3 hours the first night and slept through the whole night every night after that. I think I would have slept through the whole day too if it wasn't for alarm clocks. I have always been groggy and hard to wake up in the morning but with the cpap it was 5 times as bad. Sometimes after a full night's sleep I would wake part way and be unable to completely wake up. I couldn't form the words to speak and couldn't figure out how to sit up. At first I felt like I had a little more energy during the day but that dropped off after the first week. Every day it got harder and harder to wake up. I called my doc and made an appointment after 2 weeks of this. I realized that I had started a new ADHD drug just a week before the CPAP so I stopped using the cpap to see if I was groggy in the morning from the drug. I went back to my usual (life long) level of morning grogginess. After 2 weeks of just Adderall (10mg twice a day) I tried the CPAP again. It was a Friday night and I didn't set an alarm. My husband woke me up after 8.5 hours of sleep and it took over 20 minutes for me to get to the point that I could speak. I was incredibly tired all that day. I felt as if I had slept 3 or 4 hours.

I saw my sleep doctor on Tuesday and he said that he had never heard of a CPAP making anyone more tired than before. He said that I should try it again for a month. I haven't used it yet because I haven't had a day when I could afford to be extra tired all day.

Other possibly relevant facts:
Age 36
Hight 5'9"
weight 265 (down from 295 in November 06- not dieting, just hiking and doing yoga)
Irritable Bowl Syndrome from age 19 to 33- treated successfully with acupuncture (the available drugs made it worse)
Insomnia since age 6- much improved in the past few years (since acupuncture)
Insomnia has been completely gone since January (I have learned to stop it when it hits)
I was told that I snored as a teenager and I was told that I snored really badly at age 20 (weight 165)
I have always had trouble waking up.
I could go to sleep at almost any time during the day, any day. I try not to because after naps I always feel awful for the rest of the day.

I would appreciate any suggestions that you have.

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  • IMPORTANT : Information not intended as medical advice. If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder you should seek care from a qualified professional. Read Terms of Use. The Sleep Forums are not to be used for commercial purposes. Commercial products and services are not endorsed by Sleepnet.com.
  • Sleep Deprivation due to Sleep Apnea and insufficient sleep are common and can present as insomnia, narcolepsy, or idiopathic hypersomnia. In infants and children sleep problems commonly present themselves as ADD or ADHD.

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