Forum · How do you avoid taking your CPAP off at night?

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[-] UsernameNumber +0 points · almost 2 years ago

I've been using a CPAP off and on for years, and yet I almost never make it through a whole night, or even a few hours, with my mask on. If it was just a matter of discipline and determination I think I could do it, but the problem is I keep taking the mask off (and even turning off the CPAP, which I guess is thoughtful of me, at least) in my sleep. My doctor gave me a prescription for a small dose of Ambien to see if that would help, but when I take it, more often than not I still wake up with the mask off, only this time I was too zonked to turn off the CPAP, so it's been running all night without me.

I've tried putting a shirt over my head, even putting socks on my hands like mittens. Basically, I am way beyond dignity at this point, and yet I'm still not getting the most out of my CPAP.

Does anyone here have tricks that have helped them keep their masks on while asleep?

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

Hi @UsernameNumber. Do you have any idea why you take the mask off at night? Do you suspect that it becomes uncomfortable from the mask pressure against your face? Is there possibly an air leak that develops? Have you tried other masks with the same result? I wonder if trying to determine the reason for mask removal might lead to a solution.

Do any other members have thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

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[-] UsernameNumber +0 points · almost 2 years ago

I've tried several masks. Nasal-only masks don't work for me because even with a chin strap my mouth blows open and I end up making embarrassing noises. Full face masks are a problem if my nose itches, which it inevitably does, so I ended up settling on a mouth mask with nasal pillows like this one (http://www.cpap.com/productpage/RespCare-Hybrid-CPAP-Mask.html). I definitely find that one the most comfortable I've had by far, but I still take it off.

Part of the problem is that, since I'm asleep when it happens, it's hard to say why I take it off. The times I do (hazily) remember taking it off, I recall a sensation of breathing CO2, or a feeling like the CPAP is "out of sync" with the rhythm of my breathing. It's hard to describe, but whatever it is it produces this urgent feeling that I can't breath, and need to get this thing off my face right now, no arguments.

Does that help? Does it sound familiar to anyone else?

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[-] CompassionateBrownGaur2876 +0 points · 9 months ago

I'm guessing here but from what you describe it sounds like what bothers me. You sleep a bit and have a episode, wake enough to feel like you can't get air. My fix was to turn off heat and humidity completely and put distilled water made ice in the reservoir. The cold air let's my brain feel that air is coming through. Helps until the ice melts but gives me some better sleep. Why cpap companies think everyone wants or can breath hot air baffles me.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 9 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Humidity works because of the heat. Some people rely on humidity to keep their nasal membrane from drying. I personally don't feel a difference if it is on or off but obviously some folks do. I would also guess it raises the price of the CPAP device to have a water reservoir and heating element so you can look at that a couple different ways.

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