22 July 2019

Elite Athletes Need Bilevel


“There are some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.”      - Mark Twain (American Author – 1835 - 1910)

Ask yourself how the most successful elite athletes and wealthiest people became that way. Many did not go to university. They did things their way and did not follow what others had done. On this blog post, I will explain why Elite Athletes need Bilevel or BiPAP Auto Adjusting pressure machines rather than use a CPAP machine.

I have not followed what the sleep medical specialists have advised in using a CPAP machine. Why? There is ample evidence showing that there are up to an estimated 80% non-successful, non-compliant and failing patients who are using a CPAP machine. Further details are on the blog page Why is CPAP Compliance Rate Low?

I have purchased out of pocket Bilevel Auto Adjusting machines to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Further, I have taught myself as much as possible on how to use this particular machine and optimize the settings for me. By doing so, I am having a great night’s sleep every night so as to wake up feeling refreshed and energized. 

In my younger years, I played a lot of competition sport, so I am totally aware of how important sleep is to maximize performance. You need to be able to perform on any given day at your best. Just 1% to 2% from your best may be the difference between winning and losing the game. 

Great sleep is critical to an elite athlete to perform at their maximum performance. When an elite athlete has lack of quality and quantity of sleep, they will feel tired and lacking energy and may make mistakes during a game. This may be due to a reduction in focus and judgement from less reaction time to what’s coming at you and what the opposition player or team is doing. 

Lack of sleep may also lead to lack of motivation and memory in players and increase the risk of illness and injury. Potentially, illness and injury may prematurely end a person’s sporting career. 

Did you know that elite athletes such as Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Maria Sharapova get up to 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night? Serious consideration needs to be given by everyone to the quality and quantity of sleep that they are having. 

It is common in some elite athletes to have obstructive sleep apnea due to the particular sport they play such as Rugby Union and American Football players. These athletes may have large body masses and “thick” necks or extra fat or muscle tissue on the neck. 

You can read more at these articles:

7 Athletes with Sleep Apnea – The Common Misconception about OSA

Seven sports stars who get plenty of zzz’s. https://www.sleep.org/articles/athletes-and-sleep

From personal experience, by using a Bilevel Auto Adjusting machine for maximum performance, you can perform at your very best on game day. You want to be feeling great every day, not just 4 or 5 or fewer days each week. Some days I feel I could climb Mt Everest with an extra 3,000 to 4,000 feet on top and “conquer the world”! 

Optimize the settings on the sleep apnea machine for you and change the settings on the machine depending on the situation that you find yourself facing each day. Such situations may be a hard physical game, heavy training, competition schedules, eating and drinking late and a day with little activity. A fixed pressure CPAP machine is only a best estimate of what pressure you require each night. 


A major weakness of the CPAP machine is that the machine is limited to Pressure Support of 3 cmH2O. The pressure support on a bilevel machine is up to 10 cmH2O making it much easier to breathe against the pressure on exhale. In addition, the CPAP machine does not have settings for Trigger and Cycle and TI Max and TI Min like the machine that I use, which is the ResMed S9 VPAP Auto. This is an auto adjusting bilevel machine which is now known as the ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto bilevel machine. These additional settings allow you to optimize the settings on the machine for you so that you can have a great night’s sleep. More details at CPAP Vs Bilevel Settings Example

Note that you will also see the bilevel machines known as BiPAP machines. BiPAP stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure. BiPAP is a Registered Trademark owned by Philips Respironics. This company’s machine is known as Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto BiPAP. 

Recent medical research supports the use of a bilevel machine when CPAP is not effective or the patient cannot tolerate the CPAP pressure. In a 2019 study, the median average daily usage increased by greater than 23% when comparing a bilevel machine to a CPAP machine. Refer to the following article:

Benjafield AV, Pepin J-LD, Valentine K, et al. Compliance after switching from CPAP to bilevel for patients with non-compliant OSA: big data analysis. BMJ Open Resp Res 2019;6:e000380. doi:10.1136/ bmjresp-2018-000380

Throughout this Blog, I have detailed how I stopped many CPAP Side Effects and Issues using Bilevel by doing sleep apnea therapy differently to others. 

In later blog posts, I will show how to overcome the relatively rare issue of air through the eye tear duct using a CPAP machine. The sleep medical specialists have made this issue complex. Fortunately, for many people, the answer is simple! 

In the next Blog Post, Athletes need Maximum Performance: Use Bilevel, I will show how Elite Athletes may set and use the Bilevel Auto Adjusting Machine. 

Should you be having issues with your sleep apnea therapy; CHANGE what you are doing so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and energized each day. 

 “Have courage. Be adventurous and Go for it! Overcome your fear.”
- Mrhelpful
 

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