Daytime sleepiness even with successful CPAP treatment of apnea

I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea about 6 months ago. My untreated apnea had made me very sick for at least a year before being correctly diagnosed. I had terrible daytime sleepiness. I was being treated with antidepressants, benzodiazepines and sleep meds like Lunesta, all of which made me feel awful. Even with all the meds I was only getting 3 to 4 sleep hours per night. After getting CPAP, I was able to wean off all the drugs and sleep 6 to 7 hours a night. Episodes of apnea are down to only 2 or 3 per hour. But even though I am MUCH better, thank God, I am STILL experiencing significant daytime sleepiness/dizziness. I hesitate to take caffeine because it causes irregular heart beats. I am an 81 year old female with no other serious health problems. Anyone know why daytime sleepiness/dizziness persists? Could there be brain damage from having had untreated apnea for a long time?

I would suggest some sort of active task that keeps you physically engaged for the daytime sleepiness. Even doing dishes, taking a walk, etc. At 81, you’re allowed to take naps…!

For the dizziness, hopefully it is not cardiac related, rule that out FIRST. The other possibility is menere’s disease which can be quite severe and debilitating. That’s “I can’t even get out of bed” severe. It doesn’t sound like it’s that by your description. Then the next thing is to research BPPV and the Epley maneuver to treat it. BPPV is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. It is caused by crystals in the fluid in the semicircular canals in your inner ear. Dizziness seems to be worse every time you move your head, turn around, bend down etc. Doing the Epley maneuver “resets” it. Look up Epley maneuver on YouTube; there are tons of videos on how to do it, and it is something you can do right at home. Very non invasive, and works like a charm.
Let me know what you figure out.

I feel for you in your situation as I too still struggle with daytime sleepiness. I try to be mindful of the fact that since I didn’t catch it quickly I can’t expect it to go away any faster than I suffered with it undiagnosed. I try to remember that the more I take advantage of my opportunities to rest the faster I will heal.

I understand I feel the same way with the dizziness and sleepiness during the day. Having it too long can have an effect on your heart and can cause other health related conditions. Heart disease is one of them. Asthma can be related as well. I was diagnosed with Asthma 3 years ago. I suspected that I had Sleep Apnea and was told I had just a mild breathing disorder. But found out this year that’s definately Sleep Apnea. I had the Sleep Apnea then SMH
I definately feel sleepy during the day. I been dealing with Schiatica nerve and had an episode this week that’s been worse than I ever had. I’m holding on to the walls to walk. The pain is unbearable. Needless to say. I just got the CPAP last week. I just ordered the CPAP pillow because its uncomfortable at night improvising with the mask leaking air out. So now I’m waiting on my CPAP pillow.
I know I be forgetting things. It will effect your memory. I hope some of this is helpful. You can reach me on here by making a post. My email is if you ever need to talk.

.Thanks for replying!

Thank you. Seems like all I feel like doing is resting! I really want to be awake and alert again!

Thank you, Kim. Yes I need to get more physically active! Hard to do when I feel “zonked” all the time. Like I’m on some kind of drug - except I’m not! The “dizziness” is not vertigo. The room’s not spinning. I had that once! Heart is apparently ok. Taking small dose of digoxin for occasional arrhythmias. Cardiologist says nothing serious. Appreciate your input.