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Difficulty Falling Asleep though Mask is Comfortable
My first post on this forum.

I've just commenced CPAP and have a few questions. I started on my machine with an air fit P10 mask and while it wasn't too bad I have just switched to a Dreamwear. This has allowed me for the first time to wear a mask quite comfortably all night. The hose doesn't get in the way and it doesn't feel like I've got a couple of q tips up my nose. In other words freedom to move around as I am a side sleeper. There are some minor leaks occasionally but they are easily ignored.

However, I have difficulty getting to sleep and given that I'm not in any discomfort this is puzzling. What happens is that just as I am about to nod off I come back awake again. I do sleep eventually but don't get enough during the night.

As someone who likes to analyse their own problems I have noticed that just as I am about to fall asleep, air starts to leak from my mouth as I relax.

So does this mean that I am a mouth breather?
If so why didn't the sleep clinic pick it up?
Can I still use a nasal mask? (even with my mouth open its impossible to snore with the machine on)
Will I eventually train myself to breathe through my nose?

Any thoughts and solutions greatly appreciated.
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I would say either the mouth leak is waking you up, or you're still just getting used to therapy. As for a solution, I would first try a chin strap, which are available at any of the suppliers listed in our Supplier List above. This will help keep your mouth shut as you sleep. If that doesn't work, then you might eventually have to consider a full-face mask.

Welcome to the forum, and please do keep us updated on your progress!
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I second the chin strap. It may help you train yourself to keep the mouth closed. For starters, you can make a simple one, out of elastic bandage. Don't make it too tight - it's not to "force it" shut but to help you keep it this way. Also, wear it so it overlaps the front of the chin so, it puts a bit of a lift on your lower lip - even with the mouth shut, at 13 cmH2O, you can easily get some lip blowing.

I also suggest that for few days, before sleep, you spent an hour or so reading a book or just listening to the music while wearing your mask and CPAP going. Doing that some years ago, In short order adjusted to the therapy and trained myself to keep my mouth shut without help from the chinstrap. As of a month or so, I need one so, with time, things do change.
Everything I post on this board is nothing more than an opinion expressed by an apneak. Normally, it's based on facts and experience but sometimes, I may get things wrong or not have all the facts.
I reserve the right to change my mind. Why? Because tomorrow I may know better.
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I would try the chin strap. Unless your pressure is pretty low the thing that you need to do is use your tongue against the the roof of your mouth to keep air pressure from coming into your mouth. The chin strap is a reminder to your body to do so and since it helps to keep your mouth closed makes it easier to get the tongue seal. I am afraid that chinstraps are like masks in that some may work for you and some may not.

I found that the ones that cupped my chin did not work for me at all. I ended up with a wide chin strap that supports the whole lower jaw. It pushes up the loose flesh under the jaw and I think helps to make the tongue seal. My problem with the chin straps with the chin cup was that it would hold my mouth closed but I would still get pressure blowing out of my lips.

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Hi holden4th,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Try using your machine and wearing your mask during the evening as you read or watch tv. This will help you get used to this new way of sleeping.
Much success to you with your CPAP therapy and hang in there for more responses to your post.
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Welcome to the forum holden4th! Hope you can resolve your issue quickly!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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Yes, it would appear that you are a mouth breather, and there's no doubt that the sound of air rushing from your mouth will wake you up or keep you from falling alsleep.

You can train yourself to breath through your nose only. A chin strap may help, give it a try, but while your are doing that, practice the "tongue seal".

Place your tongue to the roof of mouth with the tip of tongue behind front teeth.
Gently suck your tongue upwards. What happens is your tongue will find it's natural place and then forms a seal at the back of your throat so that no air can escape.

This takes some practice, but can be mastered in a short time.

Once I mastered it, I got rid of the chin strap. Smile

Good luck!
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Some chin straps don't work well with the DreamWear mask. I have an Oracle chin strap and have only worn it a few times. It cradles my chin, and when worn tight enough to help keep my mouth closed it pushes my saggy cheeks up against the Dreamwear cushion and it leaks.
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Thank you for your replies so far. It looks like a chinstrap will be on my shopping list very soon. I've stopped using the CPAP because I feel worse after using it than a night of apnea/hypopnea. The school term is about to start and I need my wits about me to work with the young children who are my charges. I've managed it well so far despite the OSA fatigue. Minimal sleep just won't work.

It's pleasing to know that I can train myself to become a nose breather. I do put my tongue at the roof of my mouth anyway and I'm a nose breather during the day.

The positive for me is that I now know its not the mask that's keeping me awake and that I might be able to finally master this CPAP business. However, the thought of a full face mask fills leaves me feeling uneasy as I am a side sleeper.

Three more questions:

What is a good brand of mask (one that will definitely keep my chin up and my mouth closed)?

Can I wear the strap under my Dreamwear mask? I know it's not recommended but I can't see why not.

Is there a way to tape my mouth closed and is it worth trying?

All questions from a tyro. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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(01-24-2016, 04:46 AM)holden4th Wrote: All questions from a tyro. Thanks in advance for your advice.

HA! This may be the first time I have someone use the word "tyro" for n00b outside a crossword puzzle Big Grin is it common in your part of the world? (inquiring minds wish to know...)
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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