As a former CPAP user, I am aware of the many arguments for and against the use of CPAP in controlling obstructive sleep apnoea.
CPAP is usually prescribed by a sleep specialist for patients with severe sleep apnoea. Mild to moderate sleep apnoea is often treated with a mandibular splint or dental mouthguard designed by a prosthodontist.
I was prescribed CPAP after severe sleep apnoea was diagnosed following my 1st sleep study. But it was some time before I could accept the prescribed remedy. When I was punch drunk through lack of sleep, I was ready to see if it would provide sleep relief. Initially it did provide relief but I only lasted 2 months before I could tolerate it no longer.
Problems with using CPAP
- It is well known that the pressure set by the CPAP machine is to counter apnoea occurring while sleeping on your back during REM (that stage of sleep where you are most likely to dream). Unfortunately, this level of pressure can be very uncomfortable as there are 5 stages of sleep (NREM stages 1-4 + REM). The forced air pressure can be similar to a small storm blowing down your throat!
- Coping with the claustrophobic atmosphere within the mask can be difficult when exhaled condensation forms around your mouth and nose while using a full mask, particularly as humidified air is pumped into your open mouth or nostrils.
- At times the mask leaks air if the seal breaks if you disturb the position of the mask while turning in your sleep. Sleeping on your side compromises the hosing.
- If using a nasal CPAP (i.e. only covering your nose) it will not be effective if you suffer from a blocked nose. And what happens if your mouth opens while asleep? It will result in air blowing out of your mouth causing you to wake up!
- Some CPAP users suffer with bloated stomachs and watery eyes due to the forced air currents entering their noses and lungs.
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of CPAP is needed. For some people this is too much of a burden, especially if you are exhausted. Additionally, the CPAP pressure setting will need to be changed over time, so you need to check the pressure every 6 to 12 months.
- It is reported that less than 50% can tolerate CPAP. In fact less than 30% are using CPAP effectively after a year
Advantages to learning Mindful Buteyko Breathing
- It is completely natural.
- You learn how to unblock your nose and how to exclusively breathe through your nose – the way our bodies are designed to breathe.
- You learn how to normalize your breathing during the day so that you continue during the night ensuring refreshing sleep.
- By mindfully practising how to breathe in a manner different to how you currently breathe you will establish a permanent breathing pattern.
- Your mental and physical health will benefit from regular refreshing sleep. Some of those benefits include increased energy levels, greater concentration ability, calmer state of mind and less frequent visits to your Doctor.
- You will achieve a sense of independence by not being dependent upon CPAP
Think of what you will gain.
Thousands have benefited from learning how to normalize their breathing.
Through learning Buteyko Breathing and practising it in a mindful manner the quality of my sleep and the quality of my health has improved significantly.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or would like to attend a free information session.