Last year, I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and issued with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to help control my breathing as I sleep. I have had a love/hate relationship with this machine from day one; I find it helps me stay asleep but makes getting to sleep a bit of a challenge. So, as a result I’ve ended up using it less and less. Those taking care of my treatment obviously wish for me to persevere, so I’m giving it another go and this time I’m going to have a little help getting me to the land of nod in the form of over-the-counter sleep remedies.
Friday Night: Antihistamines
The humble hay fever pill doubles as a handy aid to restful sleep. I took one before settling down to sleep and found it mellowed me out almost immediately and helped me drift off soon after.
Saturday Night: Kalms Sleep
“May make you feel sleepy.” And they did. I took four (maximum dose) an hour before settling down to sleep, and decided to give the CPAP a try. So, masked up and dosed up I got comfortable (well, as comfortable as you can be with a plastic cup strapped to your face). I slept for nearly 11 hours with no interruptions. I’d call that a win.
Sunday Night: Sominex Herbal
The cuddlier herbal version of Sominex, made with similar ingredients to Kalms. I had high hopes for these, mainly because they appeared to be a stronger mix. Sadly, they didn’t suit me and I had what passes for a “normal” night with many false starts and frustrated fiddlings with the CPAP mask.
According to my Fitbit, Saturday night was indeed the most successful sleep – over 11 hours at 100% efficiency. I’m aware that the effects of sleep remedies vary from person to person, and other factors need to be taken into account. So while the Sominex Herbal didn’t work so well for me this time, it wouldn’t put me off trying them again. For now, though, the best choice for me appears to be the Kalms.
Am I getting any benefit from using CPAP again? I think so. Once I’m asleep, it’s a better quality sleep. I’m still not sure if I need it. I’ve lost over 60lbs since my diagnosis last year, and I’ve noticed an improvement in my breathing, so I’ve made arrangements to be tested again to see if treatment can be discontinued. In the meantime I’m doing my best to endure the less appealing aspects of wearing the damn thing and enjoying some deep and lengthy sleep as a result.