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Community Views: The Hardest Thing About Sleeping With CPAP

Last updated: May 2022

Learning to comfortably sleep with a mask on your face is no easy task. However, for many people, CPAP is truly the best and often only solution to sleep apnea. The trick becomes finding ways to learn how to make your CPAP work for you.

To start a conversation about CPAP machines and hear how community members are handling their machines, we reached out to followers of our Facebook page and asked you to fill in the blank:
The hardest thing about sleeping with a CPAP is
We received comments from over 125 community members. Here is what was shared.

'Getting my mask to fit properly.'

The #1 problem – especially for those who are new to using a CPAP – is figuring out how to get the best fit. To start, it is recommended that you try on several CPAP masks in person to see which provides the best fit. If you can, have the person selling you the CPAP help you determine how to get a best fit, and get as much instruction as possible for solving problems that may come up in the future.

“Keeping a good fit on my mask as I move around at night.”

“Getting my mask to fit properly over my very high cheekbones and staying sealed.”

Community Poll

How many CPAP masks did you try before settling on one?

'Air escaping around my mask.'

Not only is leaking air uncomfortable, but it also means you are not getting the full value of a CPAP machine. You may need help adjusting the headgear. You may also want to try adjusting the mask when you are lying down in the position you normally do while sleeping. Also, old and/or dirty CPAP masks can cause leaks. Mouth breathing can also contribute to air escaping.

“Air in my eyes all night long. I have tried multiple masks, with no real change. Best I can do is sleep with an eye mask on. It helps a little but is so, so painful!”

“Air escaping around my mask. I already wear a small mask so I have to tighten it up more, making it uncomfortable.”

'I like to sleep on my stomach and cannot with all the equipment.'

For many people, it is an adjustment to get used to something on their face at night – especially for those who are side sleepers and stomach sleepers. Those who are used to sleeping on their stomachs do have the hardest time finding a way to get comfortable. Trying a new pillow or trying to sleep in a different position may solve the problem, but it does take time to get used to.
The straps cause my mask to move when I turn over. It does not matter how tight I have it.

“I like to sleep on my stomach and cannot with all the equipment.”

Community Poll

What sleep position works best with your CPAP machine?

'Dry mouth.'

If you are waking up with a dry mouth, it means the CPAP machine is not able to give you the biggest benefit possible. The machine works best when someone is breathing through his or her nose. Of course, this also may take some time to adjust to. There are lightweight strips that can help tape your lips closed. Chin straps are also a possible solution. Other options include CPAP machines with built-in humidifiers or CPAPs with full-face masks.

“Dry mouth.”

“Waking up dry as a bone in my mouth and throat! I hate it!”

Community Poll

Do you experience dry mouth from your CPAP?

Thank you to everyone who commented. We appreciate all of your insight and feedback. Join the conversation! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and experiences with our community.
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