Severe Apnea with CPAP generally once a night

Posted by dennyboy @dennyboy, Sep 8, 2021

I have used CPAP for about 7 years. I seem to wake up regularly between 2:30 and 3:30 am most every night feeling like I have not been breathing and with a slight head ache. I then seem to sleep irregularly the rest of the night with less intense apneas occurring. When I wake up each time, I have been having a slightly weird dreams. According to myAir, my sleep results are generally 100 with few apneas during the hight with my CPAP gear. My question is should I be concerned with the one bad apnea I seem to have most nights that wake me around 3;00 am. This is generally an intense feeling of shortness of breath and somewhat scary. In the past I thought I might be experiencing a heart attack or other heart issue but I have been assured by cardiologist that my heart is OK. So, is one severe apnea episode a night unhealthy and cause for concern?
Thank you in advance for any advive!

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Hello @dennyboy, Welcome to Connect, an online community where patients and caregivers share their experiences, find support and exchange information with others. I've been using a CPAP about 3 years now and the goal given to me by my sleep medicine doctor was to aim to have less than 4 events per hour which is close to what I have been doing for most of the 3 years with a few exceptions when I was having issues with a particular face mask. I was using Dreamstation CPAP which their software seems easier to understand (or was for me anyway). After a recent recall by Philip's Respironics for their CPAPs, I switched to using a ResMed AirMini which also has the MyAir app and I was having some really bad readings until I figured out what was happening with my mask leak numbers. My machine was set to turn on and off automatically based on if you put your mask on or took it off. Mine was turning off multiple times during the night while I was sleeping because it thought my mask was off due to a leak but it wasn't. I was able to turn that feature off so I now have to switch on the AirMini when I put my mask on and switch it off when I take the mask off. Now my MyAir numbers are back where they should be and my "event's average between 1.5 and 2.5 for most nights.

I wonder if this information from ResMed will help answer any questions you might have — myAir tips: understanding your myAir score:

I too have vivid dreams once in awhile but I've had them on and off since childhood so I'm not really concerned about them. Here's an article I found that may explain it a little — The Mind Revealed: Learn More About Sleep Apnea Dreams and Nightmares:

Have you talked with your sleep medicine doctor or care team about your concerns?

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