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[CPAP] Is sleeping on your back really bad for treatment?
#1
I understand that sleeping on your back contributes to OSA as gravity pulls the tongue and other soft tissues down. I used to be a stomach and side sleeper (mostly stomach) until I started CPAP. Now I find it much more comfortable to sleep on my back and that's my preferred position when I have the mask on. It also cuts down on leaks. Sometimes I'll switch to my side at some point in the morning hours, but I've had nights where I woke up in exactly the same position I went to bed in when I put the mask on. I call those "good" nights Big Grin

Have others here switched to sleeping on your back with CPAP? If so, did you notice an increase in apnea events, or is the machine effectively rendering the whole gravity situation null and void?

BTW, here's a poll about sleep position:
http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...-about-you

From those that responded, it seems I might already be in the minority...
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#2
Many people find their apnea is somewhat worse sleeping on their back. You might need a little more pressure to overcome this. Doctors usually set your CPAP pressure to give you good results while sleeping on your back.

Usually, sleeping on your back with CPAP is fine. Your AutoSet will tell you if it's not working, and you can adjust pressure or decide to try another position.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#3
I'm typically a side sleeper. With a constant pressure of 13 (my prescribed setting), based on looking at the data in the morning, if I roll onto my back, I get apnea events constantly every 4 breaths or so.

I'm curious why you suddenly feel more comfortable on your back now after being a side sleeper for so long. I have no trouble adjusting my pillows to accommodate my mask while lying on my side. In fact, I find that it helps _reduce_ leaks by keeping the mask pressed against the one side of my face, meaning that I only have to adjust the strap tension on the other side.
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#4
While there is some evidence of back sleeping contributing to OSA events it depends on the type of OSA you have, so for some, back sleeping is not an issue. Your read outs will show you if that is an issue or not. For the most part, I am a side sleeper, but before I developed OSA I was a back sleeper, and now I find myself returning to that with no increase of apnoea events. Everybody will have different results.
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#5
(07-10-2013, 12:33 AM)RonWessels Wrote: I'm curious why you suddenly feel more comfortable on your back now after being a side sleeper for so long.

I wish I had a good answer for that. I think it's partly because I lost the ability to lay on my stomach now with the CPAP mask. When I've tried sleeping on my sides, I sometimes get leaks although I still sometimes gravitate toward side sleeping in the wee hours of the morning... very carefully... so as to not tug on the hose.

I think the other part of it is psychological. Since my first night on CPAP where I laid on my back and fell asleep very quickly, and slept peacefully, I just feel inclined to repeat that experience. I've sort of conditioned myself to do it. Maybe I'm not much smarter than Pavolv's dog. Too-funny

I used to not sleep well on my back. I had tried in the past and always was unable to really sleep that way. CPAP seems to have removed some of those barriers.
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#6
I used to say I slept only on my side but was lately told that no, I do not. Apparently, I fall asleep on my side then, within minutes of falling asleep, I roll over onto my back and put my hands under my head. Then, as I start to wake up, I roll back over onto my side.

My AHI stays below 5. But then I have an Autoset and it adjusts to whatever position I am in.
PaulaO2
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#7
(07-10-2013, 12:58 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote: I used to say I slept only on my side but was lately told that no, I do not. Apparently, I fall asleep on my side then, within minutes of falling asleep, I roll over onto my back and put my hands under my head. Then, as I start to wake up, I roll back over onto my side.

Interesting! Up to 2 minutes ago, I would have said that I am still a side-sleeper. But if I share your experience, I might not notice that I now sleep on my back, since I would wake up in the same position that I fell asleep in. That would certainly explain some high AHI periods on several days when I would have sworn I was sleeping on my side. I do know for a fact that I need a higher pressure setting than I was prescribed if I sleep on my back.
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