SOCAL's GOAL is to summit Whitney. SOCAL has only attempted it as an overnight. Knowing that Mount Whitney is day hikable by almost anyone who puts the effort forth, I suggest she rethink the overnight and try that.
If I thought her GOAL was overnighting at altitude, then I would not have suggested a day hike.
I would also add that almost no one makes a Whitney summit bid WELL rested. There are those who hike/climb/play altitude often and sleep well in those conditions. A few things get in the way of a good nights sleep prior to summiting Whitney -
1. Day hikers have to sleep fairly close by. Portal camp ground, in the car, Hostel, maybe Horseshoe Meadows. Most are going to be nervous, excited, etc and the early start time is outside of their normal sleep schedule. There are exceptions, but I would bet a high percentage of folks attempt their day hike on less sleep than they normally get.
2. Multi day hikers sleep at Outpost, Trail Camp or Guitar Lake prior to making a bid for the top. The east side is a crappy place to camp - period. Loud and overused with plenty of traffic. (during the time frame I assume SOCAL will be making her attempt) If you are coming from the west and have been hiking awhile, you might very well be well rested and on your A game. Coming from the more popular east side, I doubt you are at your best.
A CPAP machine is going to add weight, worry and just generally be a PITA on the trail. My guess is that with the machine on the trail Mr. SOCAL will be in much worse shape for a summit bid than if they trained and prepared for a day hike.
That's why I suggested a day hike.
I actually use sleep deprivation training for Whitney. Since it's not too tough of a hike it falls second on the list every year. I start in Yosemite doing Cloud's Rest and/or Half Dome in late May. If someone wants to do Whitney with me, I take them to Yosemite. We leave home at 8 pm or so and drive 8 hours to the park. I drive, but it's hard to sleep in the car for whoever else is making the trip. Once at the park I try to get an hour or so nap, depending on the ranger danger. We hit the trail at 0500ish. No one is well rested. That gets them ready for Whitney, when we are sleeping in a tent, car or camper and everyone is excited, nervous, etc. No one is well rested.
It works for me - your milage may vary. I take responsibilty for everyone in my party and I have no problem calling off a hike if I don't think they are up to it. I'm not lucky, I'm careful. When I was sick, dehydrated and exhausted on the 72 mile/48 hour hike in Kings Canyon I played it safe and came in 12 hours late so I could rest.
I stand by my "sleep is over rated" quip. If you train for it and plan for it, you can do a lot with little sleep. It's not for everyone, but it works for some.
So Chrissy - Day Hike it. I'll help you and your man every step of the way.
And there was NEVER a challange between Moose and I. We have plans for some big miles together, but not as a race.
I would like to think that I would do ok against a lot of people starting at midnight and going for at least 24 straight hours. With or without chocolate. Then again - food is over rated too...........................................DUG