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Lessons in Sleep
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jducoeur
One of the interesting side-notes from my trip to 50 Year was that it provided an accidental experiment in the usefulness of my CPAP.

About 18 months ago, Kate convinced me that I probably had a touch of apnea. (She described the noises I was occasionally making when I was sleeping, and they were pretty tell-tale.) So about a year ago I got a CPAP, and I quickly decided that it was at least a little helpful -- I felt slightly more rested when using it. So I've been utterly faithful about it ever since, and have used it every night since I got it.

But I realized, when I was packing for 50 Year, that I had no good way to *power* the bloody thing. I have a big battery, but it puts out DC, not AC, and while that's a solvable problem, I couldn't deal with it in the hours that I had left to prep. So I decided that it wouldn't kill me, and I'd just do without it for four days.

That was illuminating. Granted, it wasn't a perfectly controlled experiment by any means: I was sleeping on an air mattress, in rather warm and humid weather and (most importantly) without Kate, so my sleep patterns were a bit disrupted. But I would have subjectively sworn that I was getting at least six hours' sleep a night. By the second day I was running on pure adrenaline, and by the third I was comatose on my feet. It was startling: I sometimes think of myself as tired during the day nowadays, but I haven't felt that sort of bone-deep *exhaustion* in the past year. The contrast was vivid.

So the moral of the story is that the CPAP is *not* optional -- I'm going to have to be consistent in bringing it with me on trips from here on out. And I am now *especially* keeping my fingers crossed that the Airing project works out -- while I'm likely to continue using the conventional CPAP at home, I would love to be able to using Airings when traveling, especially when camping...
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Thanks -- I'll likely just pick one up myself when next I need it, now that I am warned. (Although hopefully by this time next year the Airing will be on the market, and will work well enough to obviate the problem.)

Although there are reasons to go with the full sized CPAP... on those hot sticky nights, filling the resevoir with crushed ice cools the air for about 4 to 5 hours. I find that makes it much easier to sleep.

Huh -- never even occurred to me. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

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