Have you ever wondered what a CPAP machine is? CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It’s a machine that pushes air to help people like myself breathe when we sleep.
So how do you know when you’re in need of a CPAP machine?
I knew I needed one when I woke up every morning still tired. I knew I was snoring and the more I read abut it, the more I learned that I was basically not breathing at nights. In fact, my wife told me that I would stop breathing for like 15 seconds and then gasp for breath. No wonder I woke up tired each morning.
To make entirely sure, I went to see a sleep specialist who arranged for a sleep study. A sleep study involves going to a doctor’s office where they hook you up with all kind of measuring instruments to monitor your sleep for a night.
It was quite a strange experience. You come to the office at 10 PM and they bring you to this room that has cameras to record your sleeping patterns. In addition, they hook you up with all kinds of measuring devices to monitor brain activity. They tell you to bring anything that will make it more comfortable for you to sleep. Then they gave me two Ambien to help me sleep. I was out.
About halfway through the night, they came and woke me up and hooked me up to the CPAP machine.
I went in for a follow-up appointment with the sleep doctor. He said that my brain activity was at 90 events per hour. This basically means that I was never getting into the deep R.E.M. sleep at night. With the CPAP machine on forcing oxygen into my pathway, the brain activity decreased to 2 events per hour. More importantly, I woke up feeling really rested.
Traveling with a CPAP machine is considered an assistive device and does not count towards baggage allowance. I’ve traveled all over the world with my CPAP machine, and I have never once been asked about it as an extra luggage item. It seems to be universally known and understood. I’ve had several times where security wants me to take it out of the bag so they can look at it but without any issues.
Once I arrive at the destination, all that I need for it to work is an outlet adapter and I’m ready to breathe easily. When I use the machine, I get 7 hours solid without waking up.
If you’re someone that snores and wakes up unrested, perhaps you should look into going to a sleep study and know that you’ll be able to take the CPAP machine with you wherever you travel.