I had similar problem, sometimes felt like I was drowning. Even with humidifier set to "0", could not sleep well. Finally removed unit humidifier and got small room humidifier, free standing unit. Solved problem. Nose pillows hurt me too. There is a design that is like a ball that sits on the nose, and another that has a design whereby the connection is at top of head, side rubber tubes to bottom of nose, and goes across nostrils instead of inside. I use this currently.