What happens when I get up during the night?
I am in bed. The CPAP machine is pushing air through the tube into my mask and I go to sleep. That would make a successful story all by itself. However, the reality for me is, I will wake up during the night to go to the bathroom; more than once.
At first, I would just take my mask off, go to the bathroom, come back to bed and put the mask back on. There does not seem to be a problem with that approach. However, I did not realize that I was lying to my CPAP machine. It has a flash drive inserted in the rear that stores an analysis of my sleep during the night. This includes things like:
- How long was I wearing the mask? The systems shows hours slept even if I was lying there awake.
- What was the mask fit? SleepMapper shows that I consistently have 100% mask fit.
- What was my AHI? This is a measure of apnea episodes.
When the CPAP machine is running but I am not wearing it, the mask fit percentage is thrown off.
Thankfully, I am not a person who needs extra protection over the bridge of my nose under my mask. There are gel type cushions available for people who need them. I imagine that it is important to leave the cushion and mask on when getting up to go to the bathroom. It seems it would be easy for me to misplace the cushion and even difficult to see it in the dark before going back to bed.
I understand that instead of taking my mask off when I get up for a short time, I could just unplug the air hose. This certainly is a matter of personal choice. A short hiatus during the night might be for another reason, say, answering the phone, having a short conversation, etc. Not everyone sleeps alone.
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