CPAP machine with Bitcoin Imagery

What starts with "Bi" and helps you sleep better at night?

By Crypto Eric | Blockchain Auditor | 16 Jun 2023

What starts with "Bi" and helps you sleep better at night?

While it is traditional on these pages to speak about Bitcoin and other crypto topics, you may have notice other topics do creep in. Travel, philosophy and religion, and other subjects sometimes separate posts about the latest NFTs, new ERCs from the Ethereum folks, and claims about the latest altcoin that's as good as Bitcoin.

That being said, many of us need help sleeping well at night. With Doge and Shiba Inu sitting down 92% from their all time highs, and even BTC down 62%, anything that can help us wake up refreshed to make the best decisions has to be a good thing. For me, the thing that starts with "Bi" and helps me sleep better at night is a "BiPAP" machine, and I wanted to share my experience with a new mask to help me get the most from it.

Literally helping you to breath

BiPAP (or BiPap) machines are used to normalize breathing when we sleep by delivering pressurized air into the lungs, helping those suffering in particular from sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, our breathing repeatedly stops and starts while we sleep, and not in the regular good way. We don't have to think about sleeping during the day, which is good, as it is a lot to think about. Due to physical obstructions or other issues, our brain may forget to tell our body to breath, and that can be very bad. The name CPAP is better known; the Bi of BiPAP means it can do different amounts of air pressures when the user breaths in and out.

While CPAP machines started to roll out in earnest in the 1990s, it has only been over the last five years or so that CPAP has become widespread.

Important components - the machine

Bitcoin emblazoned oxygen machine

There are two important systems that work together here. The first is the BiPAP machine itself. A BiPAP machine is generally a medical piece of equipment, prescribed by and programmed by a doctor, producing the appropriate amounts of pressure for each patient.

A common CPAP/BiPAP unit

It is much more than an air compressor, and over time refinements have been put into place to make them more reliable and more comfortable.

For example, with the unit linked to above (I receive NO compensation for this, nor do I say this unit is better than others), the front half is the primary piece of equipment, with the brains and primary functioning. It is relatively portable, although I can't say the same thing about the power supply for it. The rear half is a modular humidifier (to add helpful moisture) and a system to heat the tubing leading to the mask (the other major component). 

Another refinement is a ramping up feature; it starts you with lower pressure and slowly builds it up to the therapeutic level necessary. 

These units have screens for the user changeable settings and information, a way to communicate (usually cellular) with the doctor and Bluetooth capabilities to communicate with software for the user's own tracking of their progress.

There are many options, including smaller units for frequent travellers - some are specifically designed for use on airplanes for frequent travellers.

Important components - the mask

Masks (not CPAP)

The reason I wanted to write this post was with masks as the catalyst. The mask is how the benefits of the machine are delivered to the user. There are any number of options here, with the primary goal of the user's nose being where air pressure is delivered.

Some masks are simply like the nose plugs you may have used when swimming, but designed to withstand the air pressures needed to be delivered to the lungs, through the nose, and not go flying around the room under pressure. For people not likely to breath through their mouth (or willing to wear a strap that works to keep the mouth shut when sleeping), these are an interesting option - rather lightweight and unobtrusive.

But you may have seen a friend early in the day with rashes on their nose or neck or strap marks on their forehead and cheeks. These are the results of wearing a full face mask. A full face mask is very useful for those of us who mouth breath; the air can be delivered through the nose, the mouth, or a combination of both, so the therapeutic effect is still realized. However, the air pressures delivered will push against the mask, creating air leaks. The way to minimize those leaks is by tightening the straps, leading to marks and other effects of friction and pressure.

I recently decided I wanted to change the mask I was using. 

For years, I have used a mask called the RedMed AirTouch F20. This is often considered the "gold standard" for full-face masks. It is relatively quiet in use (unless air is escaping, a common problem for me with the medium sized mask, but not the large sized mask), relatively comfortable on the face thanks to memory foam on the silicone cushion.

Still, although considered one of the best out there, I was unhappy. It irritated the back of my neck, causing rashes; the medium version leaked air, but the large version wedged into my eyes. I also found myself getting wrapped up in the hose, which attaches at the front of the face, and also led to pulling my BiPAP off the table it was on.

I went to my supplier for a refitting, and decided to try a different mask - the ResMed AirFit F30i.

Link to F30i information page

Providing a brief review was the purpose of this post.

  • Full face masks: The F30i is still a full-face mask, so I don't need to add a strap to keep my mouth shut.
  • Placement on the nose: Where the F20 seals around the entire nose, the F30i seals under the nose. This puts a little more pressure on your nostrils, but much less on the rest of your nose, the bridge, and eliminates riding up into my eyes.
  • Reading/watching tv in bed: As the F30i doesn't extend up on the nose, if you wear glasses, you can actually wear them while wearing the mask (which promotes its use - put it on before you are ready to drop).
  • Connection point for the hose: Where the hose connects to the front of the face on the F20, it connects to the top of the head through tubing that doubles as a strap. As someone who sleeps on their stomach and rolls around, this reduces the chance I will strangulate myself or pull the unit off the table.
  • Noise: Lest it seem all butterflies and bananas for the F30i, I was not expecting the noise and breeze coming out of the front of it. The F30i has 25 little holes where the mouth is. Yes, you need to get the bad air out and keep the moisture down, but I was not expecting to have a whoosh of air coming out of the mask on my arm, or the cat, or whatever my face is pointing at. The F20, perhaps because of its larger size and the air plumbing where the face is, seems to handling that kind of air exchange more delicately.

In the future, I'll provide an update to this review based on more extended use. However, I am largely pleased with the move and look forward to a more comfortable night sleep with less evidence of using a mask left behind and a reduced chance of strangulating myself.

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Blockchain Auditor
Blockchain Auditor

The Blockchain Auditor blog is focused on accounting and audit issues related to blockchain and crypto-assets. There will be content of interest to those with an interest in topics such as accounting for cryptoassets, audit procedures related to blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, blockchain for improving audit processes, taxation of cryptoassets, and trust.

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