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Sleep apneoa anyone?

(8 Posts)
Rainbowhermit Mon 22-Jan-18 13:06:19

I am recently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, and have been given/loaned a CPAP machine by the hospital. I have been using it now for 2 weeks and the difference is amazing - I hadn't realised just how exhausted I was before. The only problem is that my upper back and rib area are really painful by the morning - it's relieved by getting up and moving around, but if I wake up too early I just can't get comfortable again. Hospital technicians say it is not a side effect they've heard of. Anyone else had this and found a solution?

CMOTDibbler Mon 22-Jan-18 13:18:03

I wonder if its because you are moving around less in your sleep - you tend to just stay on your back with CPAP (DH has been on it for 11 years).

You could try a mattress topper to see if that helps? Or maybe a different pillow?

Rainbowhermit Mon 22-Jan-18 13:47:23

You're probably right that I don't move as much - thanks for suggestions.

Bettertobehealthy Mon 22-Jan-18 19:29:09

Hi rainbow,
here is an idea you probably have not considered.

We do know that vitamin D has a significant influence on the expression of 2000 genes , ( 10 % of your total ) including a great many in brain cells. Breathing is controlled by brain cells. There is a strong possibility that Vitamin D deficiency is involved in sleep apnea.

Here is a podcast from the Vitamin D council, a USA non- profit organisation that looks at Vitamin D problems.

Having listened to that .... and realising that your problem may be vitamin D deficiency .... I suggest that you may very well help yourself by supplementing with vitamin D. As you are in the UK , ( I assume ) , then the blood levels of vitamin D that are being mentioned in the podcast are American, so their 60 - 80 ng/ml (American) actually means 150 - 200 nmol/Litre in ( UK ) units.

IF , you think this may be of interest to you ,
then over the last few years I have posted quite a bit on Mumsnet , about Vitamin D deficiency , its' effects, how to improve it , etc etc. Just search my username .

my suggestion ,would be as follows.

1 ) Get you blood level of Vitamin D measured.

Either from your NHS doctor , who may not even agree to such a measurement , or , contact somewhere like this NHS path lab, ( Sandwell NHS Trust) where they will send you a bloodspot test kit. They do charge £28 , if the test is not doctor ordered.
When you have your result , ( it takes about 1 week ... so much quicker than through your doctor )


2) Supplement yourself with vitamin D , such that you have reached at least 120 - 140 nmol/L , possibly a bit more , because you are trying to cure yourself of a problem which may very likely may have been caused by Vit D deficiency.

Please get back to me , if you need any more information .

best of luck ,


Froggyonaplate Mon 22-Jan-18 19:35:20

Rainbow can I ask how this got diagnosed? I have my suspicions but as I'm single and don't share a room/bed with anybody it seems impossible to tell.
Glad you feel better, do you have to sleep on your back all the time with the machine on? That might account for the pain?

Rainbowhermit Mon 22-Jan-18 20:32:28

For as long as I can remember people have complained that I snore, hold my breath and make noises when I sleep - not just my husband. I went away with a friend and we shared a room - nearly fell out over her lack of sleep. I only properly acknowledged the problem about 2 years ago when I started falling asleep at work, whenever I sat down at home and then during conversations and - the final straw - at traffic lights. Went to the GP a couple of years ago, but she initially thought it was iron stores/thyroid problems so I had to complete a course of iron tablets before she would consider sleep problems. I have since learned this was because I 'don't look like a sleep apnea sufferer, whatever that means. Anyway, eventually I was referred to the local hospital - more waiting - then had to do a sleep test at home, using a special machine. When they saw the results they called me back in immediately and gave me he CPAP machine. Apparently I stopped breathing about 90 times every hour, putting my whole system under enormous strain. The machine is brilliant - I feel miles better already - but I don't really like wearing the mask. needs must. You don't have to sleep on your back, but so far I have not been comfortable on my side with the mask on, and it sometimes leaks in that position. You're right - it probably is due to staying in one position.

Thanks better, I have also read quite a lot about Vitamin D but hadn't linked it to this - no harm in checking that out! I persuaded my elderly parents to take very high doses, and my dm swears it has helped her Crohns symptoms.

trinity0097 Mon 22-Jan-18 20:33:43

DH does sleep on his side with his machine on, he always starts on his back but does go to the sides in the sleep. He moves far less with it on than I do.

Wakes me up if we end up facing each other as it blows onto me then!

trinity0097 Mon 22-Jan-18 20:35:54

Make sure it’s nice and tight, we had to tighten DHs far more than he had been shown by the nurse when it was fitted.

He has mask strap marks in the morning, that’s how I know it’s on tight enough.

Also try moving so you head is on the edge of the pillow or on your side, so your mask is not resting on the pillow.

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