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Keeping Up With Your CPAP

The most common treatment we have for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP machine. If you have OSA, then you are surely familiar with this device.

Physicians recommend CPAP as first-line therapy for most patients with OSA. CPAP is known to improve sleep quality, reduce daytime sleepiness, and enhance the quality of life. In spite of its many benefits, compliance with CPAP is extremely poor.

The problem with CPAP therapy is that a lot of people are not good at using it regularly. Most of the people are determined and ambitious at the start of the therapy, but then they slowly drop off. Within a few months, they give up. And they go back to sleeping poorly

The good news is that there is new research that was presented at a conference at the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference in San Diego. The study is part of the CPAP Promotion and Prognosis “The Army Sleep Apnea Program (CPAP ASAP Trial).” It has been conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

What this research has revealed is that when patients were prescribed just a two-week course of a certain sleep aid, they were more likely to be using their CPAPs in six months. 154 patients took part in the study and randomly received either eszopiclone or placebo for their first 14 days of CPAP therapy.

At the end of the study, researchers found remarkable differences between the eszopiclone group and the placebo group. They found that the patients who received eszopiclone used their CPAP machines more nights per week, and for an hour longer per night. After the first 14 days, the sedative hypnotics were no longer used. However, the increased adherence with CPAP was sustained for the entire six-month study period.

Lunesta is one of the most frequently prescribed sleep aid. It can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep by intensifying the activity of a sleep-friendly chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is estimated that many of the sleep aids in this category would work as well.

So, our questions for you are the following:

  • Do you have OSA?
  • Do you have a CPAP? If yes, is it collecting dust in your closet or bedside table?
  • Are you tired of being tired?
  • Have you ever heard about apnea and how it can affect your health and relationship?

If the answers to these questions are positive, then you may want to take up this conversation with your doctor. If you use a sleep aid for a short period of time in conjunction with a CPAP, it will help you set an important pattern in your nightly routine. You will get used to using the CPAP. And, of course, you will be able to feel the difference a good night’s sleep brings.

We are aware that CPAP is not an attractive device, but it can absolutely transform an OSA-sufferer’s sleep.  OSA is linked with several rather unwanted health consequences. Starting from heart problems to mood and memory problems, and even weight issues. Luckily, there’s no consequence to using a CPAP machine other than better sleep and better health. And, of course, a happier bed partner who doesn’t have to listen to your episodic breathing and snoring all night.

 

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