Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

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Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby gelandangan » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 3:14 pm

Anyone here suffer from sleep apnea and uses CPAP in the bush?

Background:
I suffers from Sleep Apnea - a type of sleeping disorder that is very common to overweight person, almost 25% of population suffers this problem yet only about 50% or less are getting it treated. Basically, Sleep apnea is an interruption in breathing during sleep due to blockage in airway, the blockage can last for 10 - 20 seconds and 100 times in an hour. While a person with sleep apnea cannot suffocate – the brain will wake the person up enough to tighten the muscles at the back of the throat to allow airflow. This resulted in snoring or snorting loudly. Due to the repeated sleep interruption, the sufferers gains no rest in the sleep.
A CPAP (constant Positive Air Pressure) machine would keep air flowing and would then give relief and provide good night sleep.

Anyhow, because of the problem, I carry my CPAP machine with me to the bush.
I use Respironics M series with a 12V LI-Ion battery purchased from fleabay.
In winter, I place machine inside the sleeping bag with me so I can breath warm air, but suffers when I farted.. :oops:
In other seasons, I made a small bag hook at the end of my hammock to hang the machine.
Total weight of my setup is about 2kg, and the size of a shoe box. which is a shame because this can be used to carry more food or gear to say longer in the bush.
But such is life.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby Tortoise » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 4:04 pm

G'day. This isn't answering your question, but i thought i'd just mention...

I did a Butekyko breathing course a few years ago, with some good results for asthma etc. In the same course was someone who relied on a CPAP machine. Since doing the course, and doing the exercises afterwards, she has zero sleep apnoea, with before and after sleep studies to prove the effectiveness. She was so impressed that she has since become a Buteyko practitioner. She worked as a vet, and is not easily swayed by unscientific theories.

I had some sleep apnoea (according to sleep studies), and used a CPAP machine for a while, in case it helped the chronic fatigue. Drove me nuts after a while, as i gather it does to many others eventually.

Just a thought.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby gelandangan » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 4:50 pm

Thank you I shall research the Butekyko technique.
You are right it does drive me mad.
and worse, it made me no longer free to roam.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby stuey69 » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 7:28 pm

Actually you need not be prevented from roaming.
The problem is being with others in hut type situations.
If you're able to hike solo or be with others and park your tent well away then you can still do what you want.
It's a shame if you have to end your activities, look for alternatives.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby Tortoise » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 7:43 pm

stuey69 wrote:Actually you need not be prevented from roaming.
The problem is being with others in hut type situations.
If you're able to hike solo or be with others and park your tent well away then you can still do what you want.
It's a shame if you have to end your activities, look for alternatives.


The problem isn't just the snoring, though. It can have a major impact on energy levels and functioning during the day.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby Tortoise » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 7:46 pm

gelandangan wrote:Thank you I shall research the Butekyko technique.
You are right it does drive me mad.
and worse, it made me no longer free to roam.


It's usually the people with more severe cases of apnoea, asthma etc who do the best - it largely comes down to commitment to follow through with the techniques learnt. It's simple, but not easy - about an hour/day for a while - 6x 10 mins. They also found more success by charging a higher fee for the course, because people's motivation was higher to get the most for their outlay.
Will pm details
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby gelandangan » Thu 07 Feb, 2013 8:15 am

stuey69 wrote:Actually you need not be prevented from roaming.
The problem is being with others in hut type situations.
If you're able to hike solo or be with others and park your tent well away then you can still do what you want.
It's a shame if you have to end your activities, look for alternatives.


Mate, it is not the sound of my snore that prevent me from roaming, it is the limitation of my batteries.
No longer I could hike and say, "aw heck, I'll just stay a few days longer"
Alternative battery charging solutions such as solar cells are usually heavy and you got to ensure that they face the sun properly etc.
I built a Peltier heat generator to charge batteries using camp fire, but the output is no where enough to charge amps of current required for CPAP battery.

So yeah non CPAP alternative would be attractive.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby gelandangan » Thu 07 Feb, 2013 8:19 am

Tortoise wrote:It's usually the people with more severe cases of apnoea, asthma etc who do the best - it largely comes down to commitment to follow through with the techniques learnt. It's simple, but not easy - about an hour/day for a while - 6x 10 mins. They also found more success by charging a higher fee for the course, because people's motivation was higher to get the most for their outlay.
Will pm details


Thanks mate, I do have an open mind for alternative technique, however after I read about that butekyko technique, I doubt that this would work on me.
There are things that can be improved by exercise , and there are things that cannot. Unfortunately in this case mine cannot.
It may work for others tho.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Wed 15 Apr, 2015 1:39 pm

Gidday gelandangan. I realise that your last post was some time ago, so I hope that this is still relevant to you. I found it by searching the forum for CPAP, as I too have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and I was hoping to find some helpful advice on the forum. I'd like to know if you have persevered with your bushwalking with a CPAP machine, and whether you've changed anything, or had successes. It seems to me that the machine that you were carrying a couple of years ago is a fairly bulky, heavy type. I am considering buying a Transcend CPAP machine, which according to the product specifications weighs only 426 grams and is the size of a soft drink can. Batteries are available that last either 1 or 2 nights - the multi-night battery weighing 499 grams. Although I'm reluctant to increase my pack weight, a total CPAP weight of 925 grams and a relatively small physical size make this a real possibility for 2 nights out (more if I go without for a night or two), especially when not carrying a tent. There is also a solar panel for charging, but I think its use would be limited for the types of hikes that I do. I can cope OK without the CPAP for a couple of nights, but I need to be prepared for ridicule about my snoring. I try to camp away from others for that reason, but some of the walks that I'd like to do in the future are hut-based. I know that there is always a snorer in the hut, but I don't want it to be me if I can help it. (Apparently i'm pretty good at it). CPAP has become a part of my life now and I generally feel much better for it. Because i feel better I am more inclined to exercise. So at 50 years of age I finally feel that i might achieve some long term goals if I can continue to manage my OSA! I'm interested in any comments about hiking with CPAP.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby drakkar » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 12:09 am

I've just started on the Cpap journey. Have suffered for several years but it's gotten worse the last 2 - and severe the last 6 months. I've only had the machine a week but the difference is amazing.

Mostly posting out of curiosity, as it's a must buy for me coming into spring
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby Hiking Noob » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 1:10 am

Hmmmm I have been wondering about this too I supposedly snore like no-one has heard before and if I drink too much I snore so much my throat starts to close up, had it once that I couldn't breath on my back and it took three days for the roof of my mouth to go back to being concave, hahaha!

Every now and again I have one or two nights sleep where I wake up and get stuff done like a man possessed but most of the time even if I get 6+hrs sleep I feel pretty average, I also find if I wake up feeling good for a while I shed a bunch of weight without really doing anything.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 8:35 am

My father in law used to have one of these.

He simply lost the weight through exercise and eating well, went from about 120kg to 75kg (he is 6'3") and then he no longer needed the machine.

As an added benefit (and under the strict watch of doctors from the CSIRO) - he also went off insulin completely, off blood pressure meds completely, and off cholesterol meds completely.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 10:07 am

South_Aussie_Hiker wrote:He simply lost the weight through exercise and eating well, went from about 120kg to 75kg (he is 6'3") and then he no longer needed the machine...

That's impressive! Another of the lifestyle diseases.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby drakkar » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 1:49 pm

It's a pretty vicious cycle. Can't lose weight cause your craving sugars and carbs to literally survive. Can't go the gym etc cause your dozing off on the drive home, or a session takes 2 weeks to recover from rather than 24-48hrs.

Your body also goes into marathon mode and holds onto anything it can.


I wish it was a lifestyle disease.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 1:55 pm

drakkar wrote:It's a pretty vicious cycle...

It takes will to break that cycle. CPAP machines are just adjuncts for relief but not treating the cause.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 9:43 pm

Although sleep apnea is exacerbated by excessive weight, obesity isn't always the cause... some of us are just lucky! Has anyone used a lightweight CPAP on a bushwalk?
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 16 Apr, 2015 11:45 pm

darrenb wrote:Although sleep apnea is exacerbated by excessive weight, obesity isn't always the cause...

It's just the dominant aetiology, let alone obesity's impact on many other systems.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby drakkar » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 5:56 am

GPSGuided wrote:
drakkar wrote:It's a pretty vicious cycle...

It takes will to break that cycle. CPAP machines are just adjuncts for relief but not treating the cause.


I was better rested and in a better state of mind caring for a newborn full time. I effectively was getting less than an hours sleep a night before the machine. On top of that, I still spent 10+ hours on the push bike a week plus gym plus climbing plus labouring job, I ate well yet still put on weight? It wasn't till a couple of years and nearly 20kg heavier that I found a doc who believed me when I said I didn't feel right. Yes that extra weight made it worse, but when it first started I was Definetly not overweight,

I wish 'will' was all that it took.

Anyway. Mobile machines...
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 9:42 am

drakkar wrote: I wish 'will' was all that it took.

Yes, me too drakkar. Since being on CPAP I have been able to regain my fitness because I feel able. I'm now reasonably fit for my age and am once again an active bushwalker and cyclist. I'm not overweight (now). In my case a restricted windpipe is genetic (doctor's advice). No amount of will, diet, or exercise will fix it - though weight gain would exacerbate the condition. I've come to terms with OSA and know all I need to about lifestyle choices and how it affects my health. It is mainly out of consideration for others and vanity that I'm considering a portable machine as I can cope without CPAP for a few days. Looking for someone with experience using a Transcend http://au.mytranscend.com/products or similar machine. Anyone....?
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 11:10 am

Not saying all sleep apnoea cases are due to weight condition. But a good majority is, and even in those others, weight gain exacerbates the condition. As for weight gain and loss, it's a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. If weight is stable or increasing, then it's either eating too much or not enough exercises. That's where the will comes in. "Eating well" is relative and often too well. Walk more, a heck of a lot more.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 12:26 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Not saying all sleep apnoea cases are due to weight condition. But a good majority is, and even in those others, weight gain exacerbates the condition. As for weight gain and loss, it's a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. If weight is stable or increasing, then it's either eating too much or not enough exercises. That's where the will comes in. "Eating well" is relative and often too well. Walk more, a heck of a lot more.

Yep - I get that. I'm happy to discuss causes and symptoms, but I'm really just looking for info on machines for bushwalking and/or travelling.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 12:33 pm

I'm sure more will chip in if there are more suitable info. In the meantime, thread drift is to be expected.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 1:55 pm

GPSGuided wrote:I'm sure more will chip in if there are more suitable info. In the meantime, thread drift is to be expected.

No worries GPS. I'm pretty new to this. :D
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby dashandsaph » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 1:57 pm

Slightly off topic but might be for some. I have OSA and tried a CPAP machine on and off for a year or so with limited success - I usually ended up taking the mask off in my sleep. I moved on to a splint - it's an upper and lower jaw mouthguard which encourages breathing through the nose and has an offset device to push the lower jaw forward, opening up the throat and reducing the obstruction. Management reports a mixed effect in reducing snoring and OSA episodes, but it's better than nothing. I can tolerate it and for the gram counters it is miniscule in weight and has no battery. I am sort of working on the weight loss. This might be an option, but as custom fitted, very expensive for use on walks only.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby darrenb » Fri 17 Apr, 2015 3:10 pm

dashandsaph wrote:Slightly off topic but might be for some. I have OSA and tried a CPAP machine on and off for a year or so with limited success - I usually ended up taking the mask off in my sleep. I moved on to a splint - it's an upper and lower jaw mouthguard which encourages breathing through the nose and has an offset device to push the lower jaw forward, opening up the throat and reducing the obstruction. Management reports a mixed effect in reducing snoring and OSA episodes, but it's better than nothing. I can tolerate it and for the gram counters it is miniscule in weight and has no battery. I am sort of working on the weight loss. This might be an option, but as custom fitted, very expensive for use on walks only.

Thanks dashandsaph, that could be a good alternative for some. I may consider giving it a go if I don't have a better option. I have tried a chinstrap to keep my mouth closed - so that I breath through my nose. It does what it is supposed to, but doesn't stop the snoring or apneas. I had the option of a mouthguard too when I was originally diagnosed, but the doc was a bit unsure as to whether it would work for me. (I had something similar for orthodontic treatment when I was a kid and hated it). For those reasons I went for the CPAP. And yes, management is happy! FYI it took me a while to find a mask that I was happy with - I occasionally took mine off in my sleep too. Perseverance has paid off. :D
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby drakkar » Thu 23 Apr, 2015 6:18 am

GPSGuided wrote:Not saying all sleep apnoea cases are due to weight condition. But a good majority is, and even in those others, weight gain exacerbates the condition. As for weight gain and loss, it's a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. If weight is stable or increasing, then it's either eating too much or not enough exercises. That's where the will comes in. "Eating well" is relative and often too well. Walk more, a heck of a lot more.


That thinking really frustrates me, shows pretty little understanding. And is borderline offensive.

Did you not read how much excercise I was doing? I was keeping my intake to roughly 2500calories a day. Which is on the low side for all that.

Yet I still put on weight?

That little bit of weight went on, and my sleep apnea obviously got worse, so I needed extra food to have enough energy to just make it through the day. Not having your wits about you when you are playing with 11000 volts makes for a shorter life than sleep apnea and obesity.

I'm pretty aware of my energy needs and food intake. If it was as simple as will and calories in vs calories out, I wouldn't have an issue
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Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 23 Apr, 2015 6:39 am

With all due respect, physical laws don't lie. Your caloric intake is still too high if you are still putting on weight. The logic of 'worse sleep apnoea, so need extra food to make through the day' does not follow. That's one obvious issue. I would suggest looking at alternate inputs to help you make through the day eg. Stand up and take a walk, tea, face wash etc. Food is not what the body needs at this point except for the fact that your body is used to it. The sense of hunger is a variable one. The more you eat, the more the body would get used to it. If you feel hungry and resist, then you'll get there faster.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby icefest » Thu 23 Apr, 2015 7:15 am

drakkar wrote:
That thinking really frustrates me, shows pretty little understanding. And is borderline offensive.

Did you not read how much excercise I was doing? I was keeping my intake to roughly 2500calories a day. Which is on the low side for all that.

Yet I still put on weight?

That little bit of weight went on, and my sleep apnea obviously got worse, so I needed extra food to have enough energy to just make it through the day. Not having your wits about you when you are playing with 11000 volts makes for a shorter life than sleep apnea and obesity.

I'm pretty aware of my energy needs and food intake. If it was as simple as will and calories in vs calories out, I wouldn't have an issue

Firstly, I'd like to say that this isn't a blame game. Apologies if it feels like that and send me a message if you feel that i should change my phrasing.

Did you weigh your food or estimate calories?
There's evidence suggesting that estimation predisposes to error: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... X?via=ihub

What I'm getting at is that gaining fat without an excess in energy intake violates at least one law of thermodynamics. There must have been an error in one side of the energy sum. There are some physiological responses to starvation that decrease BMR, but these don't tend to kick in until there is a large energy deficit.

The main issue is that diet and exercise based weight loss is hard. Not your everyday getting or of bed at 5am kind of hard, but the winning every chess game against Kasparov kind of hard. Only 20% of people have any significant success. As I said, it's hard. That's not to say it's to hard or shouldn't be done, and exercise without weight loss still has incredible health benefits. But it's hard.

The problem with this topic is that any discussion can end up making people who do not succeed at the first try feel like 'failure makes me a failure' - I tend to see it a bit like quitting smoking, trying to quit is the main achievement and it's the continued/repeated attempt that signifies success.

It's hard.

There are some really big public health issues with weight and diet, and dealing with these would require forcing food companies to change their behaviour. Understandably there is resistance to this. A big part is the easy availability of empty calories.

It's hard.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 23 Apr, 2015 8:42 am

It's hard, to an extent that the multi-billion dollar diet industry kept on bombarding people with those easy magic solutions and researchers continuing to find contributing factors that get spun by the media as the one and only cause. It's nearing criminal. All giving people unrealistic expectations and endless excuses while the all essential caloric balance equation is overlooked. Quite simply, there is no obesity at a famine.
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Re: Sleep Apnea and CPAP machine

Postby icefest » Thu 23 Apr, 2015 12:24 pm

True, but the solution isn't in labelling those who fail as weak-willed. It's like abstinence and strong will against pregnancy - sure it works and you can't get pregnant without sperm, but it's not going to help.
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