09-09-2014, 11:29 PM
(This post was last modified: 09-09-2014, 11:32 PM by NickDanger.)
Sleep in a position in which you feel comfortable (otherwise you will frequently wake). IF sleeping on your side is comfortable, then that may allow you to get by with a little less pressure, but don't sleep on your side if it is painful. Elevating the head of your bed can also help (it can reduce both the extent of your apnea - and maybe let you use less pressure, maybe not - and any gastric reflux you might be dealing with). One possible CPAP plus with sleeping on your back is that it may be easier to keep your mask positioned in a way that doesn't leak (some side-sleepers have problems with the pillow knocking their mask seal out of wack...).
The one thing you want to avoid doing is sleeping on your back if you aren't using your CPAP - that could make everything worse.
My mouth opens when I sleep on my back so I opted for a full face mask and a chin strap. That arrangement seems to eliminate the problems associated with being on my back so I roll around every which way...I think.
I used to gasp and snore badly when sleeping on my back before CPAP. I was ok (sort of) sleeping on my side.
CPAP allows my to sleep on my back although the AHI and Pressure is higher.
I got into the habit of sleeping on my side though and prefer it now.
Disclaimer: The 'Advisory Member' title is a Forum thing that I cannot change. I am not a doctor and my comments are purely my opinion or quote my personal experience. Regardless of my experience other readers mileage may vary.
Sleeping on your back is NOT forbidden. Especially when you are using PAP therapy. Heck, getting back to sleeping on my back is one of the reasons I started by CPAP journey.
Without the PAP therapy, sleeping on your back lets gravity work to pull soft tissue down in the back of the throat and cut off airflow. Since gravity is not working so much against you sleeping on your side may position that soft tissue where it is not in the way.
Over simplified, PAP therapy acts like blowing up a balloon, if your airway were that balloon; it moves all that tissue out of the way regardless of the sleeping position (when it is blown up, the insides of a balloon do not touch unless you twist it into a dog, or a sword, or a crown or something).
So without PAP, sleeping on your back would be hard because gravity is helping pull the back of your tongue and other soft tissue down against the back of your throat: you would be getting a lot more apnea events. But with it, and with it properly dialed in (settings for back sleeping may be different than side sleeping - that's where the auto part comes in), back sleeping should be no problem. Particularly since you are using that auto bipap.
Over the years, I programmed myself to only side/belly sleep. I am so much better rested now that I have been able to break that physiological barrier and get back to sleeping on my back.
My AHI sleeping on my back ranged from 3.0 to 3.5 consistently.
Sleeping on my side my AHI ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 consistently.
No brainer for me!!
My sleep study indicated that my AHI was about twice as bad sleeping on my back as sleeping on my side. I always go to sleep on my side but I generally wake up on my back. Is it being on my back that wakes me up or am I just on my back when I wake up? My guess is that I wake up because I have rolled over onto my back. Whatever it is, I take no pains to ensure that I sleep on my side and my therapy seems to be doing fine. I am just a little crazy but I am like R_G..... I am the same.