Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

CPAP theft

   As a journalist, I've written or edited thousands of police blotter items during the past 20 years.
   But I saw something today on a Wisconsin newspaper website that I've never seen before - and it relates to this blog.
   Yep, someone swiped a CPAP.
   Wauwatosa Now reporter Heather Ronaldson compiled a list of crimes this week that includes the following in the theft section, "A CPAP breathing device was stolen from an unlocked 2011 Saab convertible while it was parked in the 4700 block of North 100th Street between 10 p.m. Dec. 28 and 8 a.m. Dec. 29."
   How cold is that during the holiday season?
   Not sure what the black market is for CPAP but it is likely of little value to the thief who probably grabbed it because it looks expensive. Sadly, the machine is likely in a garbage can somewhere.
   Moral of the story: Use your CPAP (why was it in the car during sleeping hours?) and don't leave the pricey life-saving device in your unlocked car.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Implanted device to treat apnea

  There's been an interesting development in the world of sleep apnea treatment.
  CBS Pittsburgh is reporting about a new implanted device called Inspire. The patient featured in the article struggled with CPAP and dental solutions.
  The device is compared to a pacemaker, with an electrode that moves the tongue to enable breathing to resume.
  Inspire was approved by the FDA in May so it is a new player on the sleep apnea landscape.
  It's worth keeping an eye on to see if it takes off.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sleep apnea video

Just wanted to share a video from HelloMD that provides the basics of sleep apnea.

It features Dr. Kasey Li, who is touted as one of the world's leading sleep apnea surgeons.

I'm not endorsing surgery over CPAP - just sharing options.

Show this video to loved ones you suspect may be afflicted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another option

   Happy Sleep Apnea Awareness Week!
   Just passing on a tip I received today about another means of combating sleep apnea that I had not heard of.
   California company Advanced Brain Monitoring, Inc. has unveiled Night Shift, which was recently approved by the FDA.
   It is aimed at treatment of "positional" sleep apnea (and snoring) in patients who sleep on their back.
   Here is an explanation provided by the company:

   Night Shift is a new therapy recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of positional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring in patients who are significantly worse when sleeping on their back. Worn on the back of the neck, the Night Shift begins to vibrate when users begin to sleep on their back, and the vibration slowly increases in intensity until a position change occurs. Unlike conventional position therapies (e.g., tennis balls sewn into night clothing or padding to restrict back sleeping), Night Shift delays the start of therapy to allow the user time to fall asleep in any position. Night Shift is also an intelligent, interactive monitor that tracks the users' response to the therapy and measures its impact on snoring and sleep quality.

Visit for more information and to learn how to purchase the device.

Click here for more information provided by the company on obstructive sleep apnea and positional therapy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Stop the Snore in Michigan

   Here's important information from the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine:

   Michigan’s sleep experts agree: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a potentially life-threatening disease involving episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep – is dangerously on the rise. As part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM) is urging anyone with symptoms of OSA to pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea.

   “Research shows that the number of sleep apnea sufferers continues to increase – the disease afflicts at least 25 million American adults, and most of them remain untreated, increasing their risk of cardiac disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and obesity,” said Dr. R. Bart Sangal, president of the MASM, which is a partner in the Healthy Sleep Project. The collaboration is led by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fortunately, sleep apnea treatment by a board-certified sleep specialist can stop, and may even reverse, many of these damaging effects.”

   How do you know if you should talk to a doctor about OSA? According to the Healthy Sleep Project, here are five warning signs for sleep apnea:


   ·         Snoring. Besides being a nuisance to your bed partner or roommate, loud and frequent snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. While not everyone who snores has this sleep illness, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously.


   ·         Choking or gasping during sleep. When snoring is paired with choking, gasping or silent breathing pauses during sleep, it’s a strong indicator of sleep apnea.


   ·         Fatigue or daytime sleepiness. “Sleep apnea can leave you waking in the morning feeling tired, even after a full night’s sleep,” said Sangal. “Excessive daytime sleepiness often occurs because sleep apnea causes numerous arousals throughout the night, and your body isn’t getting the quality sleep it needs.” 

   ·         Obesity. An adult with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered to be obese, and the risk of sleep apnea increases with the amount of excess body weight.

   ·         High blood pressure. A staggering 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is about one in every three adults. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea, and getting treatment for sleep apnea is a proven means of decreasing blood pressure.

   If these symptoms describe you, then you have a high risk for OSA. If you’re ready to talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, the Healthy Sleep Project encourages you to visit to pledge to stop the snore and find a local sleep specialist at an AASM-accredited sleep center.

   “Many people believe that sleep apnea only affects older, overweight men, and that simply isn’t true,” said Sangal. “Anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of gender, age or body type – even if you’re not overweight.”

   Your doctor may decide you need an objective sleep test, which will provide the data needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the most commonly recommended treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which provides gently pressurized air through a mask, keeping your airway open and making it easier to breathe. For patients who are unable to tolerate CPAP, or who seek alternatives, knowledgeable sleep specialists may be able to offer other treatments.  

   “Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic disease that has a negative impact on the health and well-being of millions of people in the U.S.,” said Janet B. Croft, PhD, senior chronic disease epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Population Health. “It is important to discuss the warning signs for sleep apnea with your doctor to determine if you are at risk.”

   For more information or to pledge to stop the snore and talk to a doctor about sleep apnea, visit


   About the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine

   Established in 1990, the Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM), formerly known as the Michigan Sleep Disorders Association (MSDA), promotes and provides education in the field of sleep medicine. The Academy brings together the full breadth of sleep professionals, their health care colleagues, private industry and health plans/insurers to promote communication, understanding and management of sleep disorders and to improve health policy through education programs, dissemination of scientific research and liaison activities. For more information, visit


Friday, August 15, 2014

Homer Simpson has sleep apnea

  Sorry I couldn't resist but it appears as though cartoon icon Homer Simpson has sleep apnea, as shown in previews for the Season 26 (!) premiere on Sept. 28.
  The clip posted on Sleep Education's website shows Homer, uh, struggling a bit with his CPAP. The slapstick nature of it is funny to anyone but it is especially relatable to those of us in apnea land when we recall our early days with the treatment.
  FOX has teased that a character will die in the season's first episode and the Internet is abuzz with speculation that Homer is a goner based on his CPAP debacle and general unhealthy lifestyle.
  I haven't seen the show in a few years but they aren't going to kill the most popular character (sorry Bart) on one of television's most enduring franchises of all time.
  Besides, Homer's health will improve as he gets used to his CPAP.
  Even though it's a cartoon, apnea awareness landing on the pop culture radar is a good thing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New topics in apnea world: Singing and E.D.

   It's been awhile.
   I decided to fire up the blog again and came across a couple of interesting topics.
   Apparently singing is now among the strategies (perhaps not universally accepted) to lessen the impact of apnea.
   The topic is addressed in a Health Q and A in the Herald-Review in Illinois.  It cites a 2013 UK study on the success of a 3-month daily singing exercise program which can be found at
   I'm not vouching for this method (and it certainly shouldn't be a CPAP replacement) but, hey, singing never hurts.
   In other news in apnea land, a study has found that regular CPAP use can help men who also suffer from erectile dysfunction, according to a report in Medscape.
   It is logical that the two ailments can occur simultaneously as being overweight can be a factor for both. It is hoped that perhaps men reluctant to use CPAP will spring into action with the added benefit of addressing their E.D.
  "If sex sells it at the end of the day and gets more men to use their CPAP, that's great," said Kerri Melehan, a sleep researcher at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where the study took place.
   Yes, it is.