I suffered through 10 years of debilitating sleep apnea before finally getting CPAP treatment. But even then it took more than 6 months of trial and error on the sleep machine before I could really use the machine the way it was intended. Over the first month with my CPAP machine I could only manage a meager 2.5 to 3 hours per night. After 6 months I was still averaging just about 4 hours per night.
I tried all kinds of adjustments to my CPAP equipment – mask changes, mask strap changes, putting the machine on the floor instead of the nightstand, changing the humidity level. One night I even pre-heated the distilled water before loading it into the machine. Lumin vs Soclean
I realized that if I understood why the mask came off my head maybe I could come up with a solution. So why did I take the darned mask off? I started making a mental inventory of my sensations and surroundings just before slinging the full face mask off. Just about every time I took the mask off my nose was stuffed up. Really, really stuffed up. Yes, even though I was breathing through my mouth.
If I could unclog the nose maybe I could get a good night’s sleep. Eureka!
What unclogs noses? There are all sorts of drugs both prescription and over the counter for people who have colds. Why not look in the local pharmacy?
What I was looking for specifically was an antihistamine. Antihistamines are supposed to be for allergies, but they show up in cold medications too. And for good reason – they unclog noses, making cold relief possible.
I mulled over the many choices available down at the drugstore, finally settling on a generic version of Claritin. Why Claritin? The first line on the package says “Non-Drowsy”. I was already sleepy at night so I didn’t need the kind of sleep help the old war horses like Benadryl would provide. When it was time to get up in the morning I didn’t want to have to drag myself out of bed.
So I bought a package of generic Claritin and gave it a shot. Did it work? Well, I’ve been averaging just under 6.5 hours per night of sleep on my CPAP machine for the last 14 months. You bet it worked!
Of course, before trying this yourself you should consult your doctor. Perhaps you have some pre-existing condition that makes this impossible. More likely your doc will be able to suggest the best antihistamine for you. Just because Claritin worked for me doesn’t mean its right for you.
So if you are having problems complying with your CPAP therapy, consider making a trip to your nearby druggist and picking up a box of antihistamines. Make it a cheap purchase; individuals can have widely varying reactions to antihistamines. That is a big reason why there are so many available.