resmed airsense bipap kit

I've struggled with sleep apnea for many years - so long in fact that I didn't even realize I was suffering from it. I just assumed that headaches, needing an afternoon nap, and lack of ability to concentrate were part of having ADD or maybe my diet or maybe god only knows what else. It was all about excuses. Then about three months ago my wife forced me to try her mask for a couple nights. We were going through some very stressful days due to taking care of my Father-in-Law but that first night changed my life for ever.

In fact, while I can only comment on my immediate lifestyle improvements, I suspect that what continues to follow will lead to a longer and healthier life.This is my story, but I've found that I'm not alone. If you have a wife, partner, roommate, or just a good friend who suggests you get a sleep study - do it - give it a shot and hopefully it helps you as much as it has helped me!

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This is a challenging subject because we as men don't like to feel weak. However, what I've discovered since starting sleep therapy (I'm working with Lofta but they are not sponsoring this or providing product) is that a lot of my friends OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) and several of them have had medical emergencies due to it being undiagnosed. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, 39 million American adults have OSA and 33 million of them use a CPAP or BIPAP machine - including President Joe Biden. 

However, as massive as that statistic is - the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that as many as 80% of people with OSA are undiagnosed.

With men 2 to 4 times more likely than women to develop OSA, this is an issue that deserves more attention than it currently receives!

This is even more important when you consider that we're not talking about a condition that is simply "loud snoring". Sleep apnea can lead to or make worse a whole list of other men's health challenges that most of us struggle with (especially as we get older). This includes memory, alertness, depression, cardiovascular and heart disease. It can even impact fertility and sexual performance.

NOTE: there are two primary different types of assisted breathing machines that are used for treating sleep apnea - CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure), these two machines function similarly but the CPAP is what most men use as it delivers the same air pressure and is good for treating more mild instances of OSA. As such, we're going to simply refer to both as CPAP therapy for this article.

Enhanced Mental Alertness

With CPAP therapy for sleep apnea, I've noticed a significant improvement in mental alertness due to reduced daytime sleepiness. It is more than just simply alertness, the brain fog that I experienced routinely before is mostly gone now. This change can be life-altering, helping you become a part of the world again, fully engaged and present in your daily activities. In fact, I joked with my therapist the other day that I am far more productive with only 5 hours on the machine now compared to 9 or 10 hours of "sleep" before.

Most men experience this feeling of improved alertness after just a single night of CPAP use. You'll start to feel changes. Your mind will be sharper, your thoughts clearer. For me this was enough to get me hooked and now I can't imagine ever going back.

Alleviating Depression Symptoms

I don't suffer from depression, but nearly half the people with depression that were studied recently also had sleep apnea. This is remarkable and is continuing to be studied. However, it makes sense - if you don't get proper oxygen to your brain and this results in your body failing to regulate itself, brain fog, weight gain, hormone imbalances etc. then depression certainly can follow.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

The link between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular health is well established. Even adding one extra hour of sleep can measurably affect a man's heart health. While this is true regardless of the reason why you might be sleep deprived - overworked, over use of stimulants such as caffien, stress etc ... men with OSA are especially vulnerable since even if we were technically laying in bed for 8 hours, people like me only really got 3-4 hours of actual sleep and during that time my brain was literally starving for oxygen.

Reduced Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Improving your ability to have a restful night's sleep however, can reduce stroke and heart attack risk by 20% (people who slept less than six hours vs those who slept more).

Regulating Blood Pressure

While stress brought on as a secondary affect of sleep disorders can cause hypertension aka high blood pressure, sleep apnea directly leads to this at night. This is because sleep apena episodes can produce rapid surges in both systolic and diastolic pressure as your body tries to react to your inability to breath properly. These spikes lead to an overall higher blood pressure without the ability to fully relax. 

Once you start CPAP therapy, these spikes are dramatically reduced and your overall blood pressure may decline as well. 

However, it is important to note here that many men who suffer from sleep apnea - such as myself - also have metabolic issues that are exacerbated by OSA and on top of that, obesity makes sleep apnea worse. Weight gain also typically causes higher blood pressure. However, if you combine a healthier diet, exercise and a healthier sleep pattern - you finally have that fighting chance to turn things around!

Lowering Risk Of Congestive Heart Failure

Sleep apnea increases the risk of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) by about 140% in men. In some cases, the two are linked together since CHF leads to weight gain from water retention and together they both lead to lower rates of physical fitness. If this is something that you suffer from, you will notice a change pretty quickly during your next physical, but you will also have more energy to do the prescribed exercises to help manage other risk factors.

Reduction in Daytime Headaches

As I mentioned above, I used to wake up in the morning with headaches. I'd have regular headaches throughout the day for no apparent reason. I just thought that was normal. Then, in the first few days after starting therapy for sleep apnea, I noticed a significant reduction. Improved oxygen flow works to alleviate pain caused by sleep disturbances. You'll find that strapping on your CPAP machine before bed can eliminate the nighttime oxygen deprivation that's often the root cause of these headaches.

Managing Diabetes Effectively

When you manage your sleep apnea with CPAP therapy, you'll also see an improvement in your blood sugar levels, a key factor in effectively controlling diabetes. Regular use of a CPAP machine can help reduce insulin resistance, which is crucial for managing diabetes. Improved sleep quality can lead to better blood sugar control, so it's a win-win situation.

Imagine being part of a community that understands your path, where you don't have to explain what a CPAP machine is or why you need it. You belong here, among others who are finding their way to better health.

Sleep Deprivation Causes Chemical Imbalances

This section gets a bit muddy since the symptoms and causes are are often bidirectional - meaning that sleep apnea both causes and issues with chemical imbalances in the body as well as those same conditions - such as diabetes for instance, can lead to conditions that make sleep apnea worse.

Improved Diabetes Symptoms

Since sleep disorders caused by sleep apnea can negatively impact how the body produces insuline as well as responds to glucose levels, addressing that can begin to improve your A1C levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes or bring your body back down below the diagnosis level. Additionally, in parallel with that, since you have more energy due to improved sleep and better mental focus, things like getting exercise also lead to a positive impact.

Male Fertility And Sexual Performance

Just as managing sleep apnea can enhance your diabetes control, it can also greatly improve your reproductive health. You might notice some unexpected benefits when you begin using a CPAP machine. Many men report an increase in testosterone levels and improved sperm quality, both vital factors in reproductive health. This correlation between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Low Testoserone levels in obese men is well documented. 

However, while there is a correlation, the causation has not been confirmed. 

Regardless, though, I can confirm that by getting a more restful sleep, improved mood, more exercise, and better mental ability ... sexual performance follows right in line with those benefits of starting sleep therapy with a CPAP. Men who have issues with erectile dysfunction and decreased libido also report improvements once they start therapy as well.

Sleep Apnea Is More Than Just Snoring!

I can't state this strongly enough. If you have issues with snoring, headaches etc. that are bad enough that someone makes a comment to you, listen to them. Make an effort to get yourself diagnosed.

The process today is WAY EASIER than in the past. For example, while just a few years ago the process to get diagnosed involved an invasive sleep study at a laboratory somewhere so they could attach electrodes and other monitoring devices, today you can get an at-home test for under $100. 

Within a week of ordering the test from Lofta I did the at home sleep study, talked with a doctor via video chat, and had my machine shipped out to me. Since then my productivity and mood have both improved dramatically and I feel healthier too.

We'll be talking more about the process in future articles but if I can help just one of you guys to make a life-saving change then that makes me extremely happy!