Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
How I Dealt With Sleep Apnea and COVID-19
photo of man using cpap

April wasn’t a good month for me, as I contracted COVID-19. Not only did I have to deal with the illness, but I had to combat my sleep apnea, too. Here’s how I dealt with both.

Wear Your Mask When Possible

It wasn’t always possible for me to wear my mask with COVID-19. I was stuffed up for quite a while, and the mask was hard to use when I had severe congestion. There were a few nights when wearing my mask wasn’t possible, so I suffered without it.

Once the congestion left, I went back to wearing my mask because I felt pretty tired after dealing with COVID and not being able to use my mask. Whenever you feel sick, whether it’s the flu, COVID, a cold, or whatever, make sure you go back to using your mask, when possible, because it will help you get the rest you need.

Take Naps

I took frequent naps when I couldn’t use my CPAP machine. Getting proper rest is critical if you want to recover from an illness. This is a lot harder to do with sleep apnea when you can’t use your CPAP mask.

I felt a lot better with frequent naps during the day and went back to using my mask when I was able to breathe properly again.

Eat Well

You may not feel like cooking when you have COVID or any other illness, but proper nutrition is key. I did my best to eat well while recovering from my illness. I ate a lot of fruit, tea with honey, and lighter meals.

The same can be said if you have sleep apnea. You should focus on your nutrition, as this is what will give you energy during the day and help you sleep better at night.

Avoid Alcohol

When suffering from COVID, I avoided alcohol. I did have a few sips to deal with a sore throat, but I avoided daily drinks because it’s not the best option when you’re sick.

Alcohol can impair your ability to get a full night’s rest, so try to limit alcohol with sleep apnea. It’s not a good idea to have a lot to drink when you have this condition. Light to moderate drinking or abstinence is your best option.

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body when you’re sick. Take naps when you feel like it and get the rest you need. I felt pretty tired from COVID-19, so I listened to what my body was telling me and rested as much as I could.

You should also listen to your body with sleep apnea. You may feel worn down and have a lack of energy when you’re not able to use your mask. I still feel tired from time to time when using my mask, so I rest.

Key Points

  • Wear your mask when possible.
  • Take naps.
  • Eat well.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Listen to your body.

I managed my COVID-19 and sleep apnea at the same time. It wasn’t easy, but I’m feeling a lot better now. Treat your sleep apnea like you would any illness, and take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well, limit alcohol, get rest, wear your mask, and listen to your body.



Photo Credit: no_limit_pictures / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website or LinkedIn.

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