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New here... And a very short poll...
Hello to the group. This is my first post... On this forum.

I was wondering what is the average "get used to it " time for folks?

So far, I'm working on 5 weeks of daily nighttime use, and I'm still not used to the thing yet. It's getting better, three nights this week without snatching the mask off in the middle of the night. I am getting more rest, can feel this, however am still removing the mask in the middle of the night in my sleep. I am pretty much unaware that I'm doing it when I do it...

When I do that, I Just wake up and place the mask back on. Somehow in my sleepy state I "know" that I need this thing... Don't find myself thinking about putting it back on at all.

My sleep-less study [what we used to call them in the Pulmonary Lab I worked in] indicated I had Severe OSA. Near as I can figure, I haven't had a good night's sleep for the last 10 years.

I'm going on and on here... Will stop for now. I would be interested in hearing from others how long it took to get used to sleeping with this thing!


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I had relief from symptoms from the very first night I used CPAP. However I had a very difficult time with masks, actually for several years. I have always had nasal masks, and the earlier ones irritated my nose, and the straps made red marks on my face and were uncomfortable. For almost 10 years now I have used the ResMed Mirage Activa mask, and for me it is the best I have tried. I realize that masks are an individual fit thing, but for me the inflating bellows action of the Activa has been ideal. There are a lot of masks and different people respond better or worse to some masks.

through the many years I have had CPAP and BiLevel I have actually liked every machine I have used-Masks and straps were my issues. I would urge you to be patient and not giveup on treatment.

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Hi Whitjr,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Sometimes it takes quite a while to get used to CPAP therapy.
Just hang in there with it, it gets better.
Hang around for more responses to your post and much success to you with your CPAP therapy.
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It's a process. My days are listed below
1) first you will get used to inhaling and exhaling with/against pressure. Day1
2) Get over mask claustrophobia: Day1
3) wear mask for whole night: Day1
4) get mask leaks under control: Day7
5) get AHI down below 5 or even below 1. : Day7
6) sleep thru the night without waking up. : Day 30
7) tweak pressure settings and trial new masks until you Feel 'really' rested. Big Grinay 140
8) stop obsessing about data every morning. Big Grinay 170
9) CPAP becomes a part of your life. : Day 180

The feeling really rested is also dependent on how quickly your body readjusts your hormones.
PRS1 Auto & Dreamstation Auto w/ P10 and straight pressure of 7cm. 
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I was in my 60s before I was diagnosed, and it did take me a long time to get used to the CPAP therapy. For at least a few months, I only wore the mask the minimum for compliance, i.e. 4 hours per night. I don't remember how long it was before I learned I needed a chin strap to keep my mouth closed. Since those days CPAP machines didn't have reports I could read with software myself, I had no idea about results that could be verified. I could only go by how I felt.
My brother, who now uses BiPAP, was the person who encouraged me to stay with it. So much else was going on in my life the first 3 years of my CPAP therapy that it's hard to remember many details.
There was really no support from medical people until after I underwent AVR heart surgery. A technician came to the physical rehab center where I stayed for over 3 weeks after leaving hospital, and adjusted the machine for me. At that time, I was confined to sleeping on my back, so he probably had to increase the pressure, which is not something I knew about then.

All I can say is, be kind to yourself, and understand that xPAP is first and foremost, a therapy. Which you need.

One of the things I believe would make it a lot easier for people to comply is if a way to measure blood oxygen saturation was built into the home therapy system. That's the bottom line for me -- if the cells of my body, brain cells, organ cells, skin cells, muscle cells, nerve cells, eye cells, stomach cells, are not getting enough oxygen, I'm dying faster than I need to. What sleep apnea does, besides make you sleepy during the day, is decrease the efficiency of getting oxygen into your body where it's needed.

It's a nuisance to get used to, perhaps, but I think it beats having to wheel around an oxygen tank with you everywhere you go. Just my personal opinion. The systems are improving all the time. And yes, you can get acclimated to the system and improve your energy and your longevity.

And you'll look forward every night to . . .


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Whit, it really depends on what is going on with you. I see you're running on a fixed pressure of 9. That might be doing the job, or maybe not. You need to download and install the Sleepyhead software then begin reviewing your nightly results. How many OA's? CA's? Hypops? etc..... What is your leak percentages?

Reviewing all this might lead you to determine you need to raise your pressure some. That might result in you getting comfortable enough that the mask quits coming off in the middle of the night.

Anyhow, come back with statistics and we can help you make sense out of all this.

So, how long will it take you to adjust? Only as long as it takes for you to find your own personal sweet spot.
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Hi Whit! I'm a newbie to CPAP as well, have had it just over a week. I'll give a mini-list like AshSF did about my experience so far.

1) Day 1 - leaks galore, side sleeper but couldn't sleep on my side with the FFM because the pillow pushing made it leak, so I tried to sleep on my back and woke up gagging with the CPAP going full blast trying to clear my airway while leaking into my eyes. Thought I was being waterboarded. ;-) AHI over 5.

2) Day 2 - crank down the mask trying to avoid leaks, which worked, but as I found out a few days later, I had it cranked down too much. Started sleeping in weird positions so the mask wouldn't get pushed off my face by the pillow. This resulted in neck pain and headaches.

3) By Day 7 - finally get the mask adjusted just right, got new pillows, and sleep without waking up with neck and shoulder pain. AHI < 2 most days now.

Last night was the first night I took the mask off during my sleep. I vaguely remember waking up coughing (I think I'm starting to get a cold) and pulled the mask off to get the coughing out (it's amazingly hard to cough with a FFM on), but fell back asleep without getting the mask back on. Woke up feeling horrible, and felt horrible the whole day on and off. Looking forward to a night of sleep tonight with the mask on.

But, before the CPAP I had a TAP (oral appliance). I used to take that out in my sleep every night for the first two weeks. Then, occasionally, after that for a month or two. After about six months it was the opposite - I was so used to it that I couldn't fall asleep without it in my mouth.

So I'm betting your experience will be similar to my TAP experience. Just keep with it, and eventually you'll stop taking it off as often, then not at all.
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(04-24-2015, 08:11 PM)Whitjr Wrote: I would be interested in hearing from others how long it took to get used to sleeping with this thing!

At least 6 months, wasn't plain sailing but as the saying goes ... a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Things to remember, CPAP is not a miracle cure or can fix every other heath problem we might developed over the years of sleep and oxygen deprivation ... healing can take some time

It does help to keep a positive attitude and don't tackle everything at once but rather one small step at a time

Good luck

Time for a nice cup of tea on this special Anzac day

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(04-24-2015, 08:11 PM)Whitjr Wrote: I would be interested in hearing from others how long it took to get used to sleeping with this thing!


Yours is a very good question...

I am one of the lucky ones... While some struggle it clicked for me straight up.

Night 1: After an hour or so to get the mask fit good enough I slept through the night for the first time in years... Nocturia gone. AHI 3.

Next 3 months: After starting with a Hybrid mask (sort of a full face but with Nasal pillows built in) I found that I had stopped mouth breathing so I tried a Nasal Pillows type mask. Much better - AHI dropped to around 1.

Next 2.5 years: Life is great and I am sleeping well.

I don't know everybody's story but for the few I do know, persistance and a positive approach to what will be a part of the rest of your (probably now somewhat longer) life goes a long way.

I hope your journey goes well.



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.
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It took me about a week to get used to the machine, and now after a couple months I can sleep through the night. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Just remember this is a marathon and not a sprint.
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