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Back Sleeping With CPAP?
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linn Offline

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Post: #1
Back Sleeping With CPAP?
I am a side sleeper and I feel like I can't get air when I sleep on my back. Will the CPAP allow me to sleep on my back?

I injured my ears earlier this year and they sometimes click and pop. It's not bad during the day, but very bad at night - I think from the pressure of the pillow/gravity against my ears at night.

The clicking and popping wakes me up through the night, which really messes up my sleep. If I could find a way to comfortably sleep on my back - I would be very happy.

Would love to hear feedback Thanks
10-07-2015 08:55 AM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
I could not sleep on my back prior to CPAP therapy. Always felt like I was suffocating.
Now I can, although sometimes out of necessity, because I have hip and shoulder pain, so have to move around.

You may or may not be able to. One thing you have to realize is that your AHI will sometimes be higher if sleeping on your back. It's a trade off or compromise on what feels most comfortable and your AHI numbers.

A positive note is that with an APAP, it will adjust pressure according to your needs, whether you are on your back on side.

This could be a good argument for you to get an APAP, not a straight CPAP. I know it's a challenge in Canada.

OpalRose
(This post was last modified: 10-07-2015 09:13 AM by OpalRose.)
10-07-2015 09:11 AM
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linn Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
(10-07-2015 09:11 AM)OpalRose Wrote:  I could not sleep on my back prior to CPAP therapy. Always felt like I was suffocating.
Now I can, although sometimes out of necessity, because I have hip and shoulder pain, so have to move around.

You may or may not be able to. One thing you have to realize is that your AHI will sometimes be higher if sleeping on your back. It's a trade off or compromise on what feels most comfortable and your AHI numbers.

A positive note is that with an APAP, it will adjust pressure according to your needs, whether you are on your back on side.

Thanks Opal - I would love nothing more than a good nights sleep Bed It's a never ending battle...
10-07-2015 09:15 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
Due to back and neck issues, I sleep on my back a lot. I sleep very propped up because the same issues won't let me sleep flat. The best solution I have found so far is to take my body pillow and make a U, put it at the head of the bed with the legs of the U facing the foot of the bed. I then take my usual head pillow and put inside the U with the narrow ends facing the top and bottom of the bed, vs the sides. Then I take other pillows (yeah, I have a lot) including my old body pillow and place them where ever I need them for my hips and knees.

The legs of the U shaped body pillow I made supports my head and shoulders. The pillow I placed there supports my head, neck and upper back. Depending on need, I sometimes don't use that pillow and lay flatter.

At first, my AHI was much higher when I slept on my back but over time, it has lowered. I think it is a combination of I have gotten better at finding both the most comfortable position as well as my full face mask does a better job than the nasal pillows. My pressure range is high anyway.

If you have a data capable machine, just watch the data. If it is a straight CPAP and your AHI goes over 5 when you are on your back, you can bump the pressure up a bit to see if that works. I would say just 1 point for at least 2 weeks. If you do not have a data capable machine, you have to make some choices. The least expensive would be to get a recording oximeter. You would use the data from that to see if you need to adjust the pressure. Or you invest in an autoPAP. Supplier #2 has great prices (see the Suppliers List link at the top of every page).

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10-07-2015 11:33 AM
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linn Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
(10-07-2015 11:33 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  Due to back and neck issues, I sleep on my back a lot. I sleep very propped up because the same issues won't let me sleep flat. The best solution I have found so far is to take my body pillow and make a U, put it at the head of the bed with the legs of the U facing the foot of the bed. I then take my usual head pillow and put inside the U with the narrow ends facing the top and bottom of the bed, vs the sides. Then I take other pillows (yeah, I have a lot) including my old body pillow and place them where ever I need them for my hips and knees.

The legs of the U shaped body pillow I made supports my head and shoulders. The pillow I placed there supports my head, neck and upper back. Depending on need, I sometimes don't use that pillow and lay flatter.

At first, my AHI was much higher when I slept on my back but over time, it has lowered. I think it is a combination of I have gotten better at finding both the most comfortable position as well as my full face mask does a better job than the nasal pillows. My pressure range is high anyway.

If you have a data capable machine, just watch the data. If it is a straight CPAP and your AHI goes over 5 when you are on your back, you can bump the pressure up a bit to see if that works. I would say just 1 point for at least 2 weeks. If you do not have a data capable machine, you have to make some choices. The least expensive would be to get a recording oximeter. You would use the data from that to see if you need to adjust the pressure. Or you invest in an autoPAP. Supplier #2 has great prices (see the Suppliers List link at the top of every page).

Thanks Paula - that makes sense. Do Autopaps adjust to the air pressure that your body needs? It sounds like a great investment for me. I tend to breathe through my mouth at night - so they may want me to get a full face mask Oh-jeez

First, I may have to go with the oximeter...until I can afford to invest in an APAP. Can you recommend a decent recording oximeter?

Is your body pillow like this?
[commercial link removed. To find product, do a Google search for "Comfort U Body Pillow"]

Thanks for your feedback!Thanks




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10-07-2015 12:07 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
Apnea tends to be worse when sleeping on your back. If that's what keeps you from sleeping on your back, it may be easier to sleep on your back if you use CPAP.

They will probably make you sleep on your back when you have your sleep study. Some people may tell you that you shouldn't sleep on your back using CPAP, that's not necessarily true. While your apnea may be worse on your back, the CPAP machine, if adjusted properly, can offset the effect of sleeping on your back.

You might also try sleeping in a recliner. That will sometimes help your apnea enough to let you sleep on your back without CPAP.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
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10-07-2015 01:02 PM
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sptrout Online

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Post: #7
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
Due to back problems I have to sleep on my back. My sleep study was conducted in late March and I told them I had to sleep on my back and they agreed that it was not an issue (my sleep study AHI was 47). Since I started CPAP on 4/2/15, my AHI runs between 0 and .5 and has never been higher than .7. BTW - - The pressure is set at 8.
10-07-2015 01:16 PM
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linn Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
(10-07-2015 01:02 PM)archangle Wrote:  Apnea tends to be worse when sleeping on your back. If that's what keeps you from sleeping on your back, it may be easier to sleep on your back if you use CPAP.

They will probably make you sleep on your back when you have your sleep study. Some people may tell you that you shouldn't sleep on your back using CPAP, that's not necessarily true. While your apnea may be worse on your back, the CPAP machine, if adjusted properly, can offset the effect of sleeping on your back.

You might also try sleeping in a recliner. That will sometimes help your apnea enough to let you sleep on your back without CPAP.
It would be really great if CPAP allowed me to sleep on my back...thanks for the feedback
10-07-2015 01:16 PM
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linn Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
(10-07-2015 01:16 PM)sptrout Wrote:  Due to back problems I have to sleep on my back. My sleep study was conducted in late March and I told them I had to sleep on my back and they agreed that it was not an issue (my sleep study AHI was 47). Since I started CPAP on 4/2/15, my AHI runs between 0 and .5 and has never been higher than .7. BTW - - The pressure is set at 8.

Did you have difficulty sleeping on your back before CPAP? I feel like I can't get air when sleeping on my back...
10-07-2015 01:18 PM
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sptrout Online

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Post: #10
RE: Back Sleeping With CPAP?
(10-07-2015 01:18 PM)linn Wrote:  
(10-07-2015 01:16 PM)sptrout Wrote:  Due to back problems I have to sleep on my back. My sleep study was conducted in late March and I told them I had to sleep on my back and they agreed that it was not an issue (my sleep study AHI was 47). Since I started CPAP on 4/2/15, my AHI runs between 0 and .5 and has never been higher than .7. BTW - - The pressure is set at 8.

Did you have difficulty sleeping on your back before CPAP? I feel like I can't get air when sleeping on my back...

Yes and no. I have always been a light sleeper so I frequently switched from side to back to side until my back problems started, then I had no choice but to back sleep (but not a problem doing so). The only time that I ever thought that I may have had apnea (before testing) was when I was awake and on my side. When on my side, I did have trouble breathing (had a total blockage either inhaling or exhaling, I do not remember which), but I never noticed any blockage issues while on my back and awake. I know that being awake is not sleep apnea, but awake side blockage was an indication of a problem.
10-07-2015 02:19 PM
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