• The Ambien trials, part 3 (and other updates)

    Intervention: 5mg of Ambien at 10PM, another 2.5mg at 2:30AM

    Result: Slept from 10:30PM-6AM (7.5 hours). I’d be lying if I said it was the best sleep. I can recall several wakings — more than the (old) normal. I’m definitely groggier than normal this morning too. Still got some Ambien in me from that early morning dose, small as it was.

    Conclusion: This version of Ambien is not the best for me. Either an extended release version, taken at bedtime, or a fast acting version, taken at 1-2AM or so, would be better, as has been suggested by several readers.

    Anyway, I’m going to wrap up these trials for a few days and go without Ambien. I’m very concerned about getting reliant on it. I definitely will want to use it during a few, upcoming trips. I’m sure I won’t have a CPAP machine (yet) for them. (Cue grumble about the stupidly slow health system, considering what we pay for it.)

    Other updates:

    1. Some reading, but by no means thorough, suggests to me that OSA can have some connection to inflammation and, by logical extension, perhaps tendinitis. The pathway would be that OSA causes stress hormone spikes. I guess it’s stressful to not breathe. Go figure. I have noticed for years that during times of stress, my arm and knee tendinitis is much harder to manage. (Sometimes this is how I know I am experiencing subconscious stress — before I recognize it consciously, I feel it physically.) I’ve been experiencing management challenges of both for a handful of months now. My suspicion is that this was an early warning sign of OSA. Had I only known! Hopefully, OSA treatment will also improve my tendinitis. I thought I had two problems when I may really only have one.

    2. A reader and CPAP user recommended this small CPAP machine for travel.

    3. Another reader, and physician, recommended these as an alternative to any of the devices I’ve discussed so far. Super simple, but expensive (and, frustratingly, disposable so the expense just lasts forever). Maybe a good travel alternative or an interim measure while waiting for a long term solution. I’ve ordered the starer kit and will report back.

    4. As a sleep aid, a reader recommended trazodone as an alternative to Ambien. I’ve heard this advice before.

    5. I saw the CPAP machine of yet another friend on this gathering I’m at. His was smaller and quieter than the first two I’d seen. And, by quieter, I mean effectively silent. I was impressed. This friend had also used, and liked, a dental appliance. It was years ago and he didn’t remember much about it. However, after some discussion we jointly concluded that it could not have been a mandibular advancement type.

    @afrakt

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