a woman sleeping and her snoring is represented by fireworks

'Sorry, I Can’t Stay Over' Versus Showing Friends My CPAP for the First Time

Before I had my continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, I would avoid staying over at anyone’s house because of how loud my snoring was. It even annoyed my siblings. If we were at my grandmother’s house where we had to share a room, they would play the "not it – nose game" to not sleep in the same room as me! This is my experience using CPAP around friends.

My sister always said I sounded like fireworks! I always feel bad after conversations such as this when I know that I may be annoying my family and friends.

Staying over at a friend's house

In order to stay at a friend's house, I had to feel very comfortable with her. Because throughout the night, she would inevitably wake me up and ask me to roll over because she couldn’t sleep with my snoring.

She would do this repeatedly throughout the night because there was no position that I could sleep in that would lessen my snoring. I would always feel awful that I disrupted their sleep.

When people see my CPAP for the first time

Now that I have my CPAP, there is a whole different aspect of sleepovers that makes me a little nervous. It is a whole new adventure now. Most of my friends are aware that I have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and that I sleep with a machine.

My friends are always intrigued when I show them my CPAP for the first time. They almost always ask me to try it on and see what it feels like. I have received so many weird reactions to this, and it is kind of humorous to me now! Does anyone else have this experience?

Becoming more comfortable using CPAP around friends

I prefer this type of reaction much more than the previous ones when I did not have the CPAP. Now, I feel a lot more comfortable going on little getaways with my friends or staying over at someone’s house for the night.

My only request every time is, “I can sleep anywhere as long as I am near an outlet.” By now, my friends know this request and will always set me up in this spot.

Why I don't mind these reactions

I am a young woman with OSA. I always get the same reaction when I tell peers that I have a CPAP. They always say, “Oh my gosh, my grandfather has that!” or “Wow, you and my uncle could be friends because he has that, too!” Yet, my friends have never judged me or ridiculed me for my CPAP.

I feel very lucky for their support and understanding. When I use the CPAP, I feel much better and I love that it does not disrupt my friends' and family's sleep. I prefer the silly conversation about my machine prior to each new stay over.

How do you handle invitations to stay over at someone's house? Do you decline, or do you accept? Do you explain about your CPAP? What reactions have you received while using CPAP around friends? Share with us in the comments below!

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