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need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
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Paptillian Offline

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Machine: S9 AutoSet
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post: #1
need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
I'm not sure what causes this (maybe I'm too heavy?) but my shoulder gets sore and numb when I try to sleep on my side. I have to wake up and switch positions to relieve it. From what I understand, side-sleeping is the best compromise of all the sleeping positions so I'd like some advice on how to 'do it right.'

Prior to CPAP I was a stomach sleeper. Thankfully I found a way to make that work (using a second pillow) but it's very much a compromise and not very comfortable with the CPAP mask. The second pillow also puts pressure on my lower jaw. I also understand that stomach sleeping in general is not good for your back and creates a pressure point in your lower spine.

The first week or two after I started CPAP I was sleeping on my back. It worked well and was very comfortable / easy to fall asleep, however it makes OSA worse as gravity works against the CPAP which is trying to keep the airway open.

Any ideas?
08-11-2013 07:48 PM
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Tez62 Offline

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Machine: Resmed S9 Autoset
Mask Type: Full face mask
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Sex: Male
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post: #2
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
Paptillian, changing peoples sleep position habits is very hard, personally I think you should sleep in the position that is most comfortable for you to get a good nights sleep. If it's on your back the CPAP should adjust for you
08-11-2013 08:00 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Machine: S9 Autoset
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Post: #3
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
One thing is to use a body pillow or just another big pillow. Hug it with the upper arm (as in the one in the air, not the one on the mattress). This keeps the weight of your body balanced and presses less on the other arm. Another good thing about a body pillow is you can also put it between your knees, better aligning the hips.

Another is to get a wedge pillow or very firm pillow and put it at your back. You can sleep half on your back and half on your side. I find this to be comfortable. It's a hassle but comfortable. I use a king sized pillow so it goes from hips to shoulders. I then use other pillows as needed.

It is probably not good to sleep all night on the same side without some sort of support. Which is why the shoulder is hurting. If it wakes you up to roll over, don't get wonky about it, just roll over, reposition, and go back to sleep. Think of it as nothing more than a hand that went to sleep.

PaulaO2
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www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
08-11-2013 08:02 PM
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Paptillian Offline

Preferred Members-2

Posts: 474
Joined: Jun 2013

Machine: S9 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Swift FX
Humidifier: H5i
CPAP Pressure: 4 - 10, EPR x2
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post: #4
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
When I'm on my side, I have to use the second pillow between my knees. Otherwise it's too uncomfortable... especially for a guy.

When I'm on my stomach, I wedge the second pillow under my right side which props me up a bit. I also rest my jaw on the second pillow which keeps my face propped up and allows the CPAP mask to sit straight and not leak. It only works if the hose is routed up over the headboard so that it doesn't pull down on the nasal pillows.

Maybe I'm taking 'side sleeping' too literally? Is it supposed to be completely on your side, or at some angle like Paula suggested?

Ideally I want to sleep in a position that doesn't require a second pillow. Besides being annoying to deal with when I have to turn around, it also adds more bulk which annoys my wife. She says that I tend to press the second pillow up against her at night. Back sleeping would be great but I'm afraid to try it again since a lot of folks on here preach against it and go to great lengths to stay off their backs. I don't know... nothing from the manufacturer or the sleep clinic said to stay off my back (I don't have a DME, so who knows what they would have told me).
08-11-2013 09:55 PM
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Tez62 Offline

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Post: #5
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
(08-11-2013 09:55 PM)Paptillian Wrote:  When I'm on my side, I have to use the second pillow between my knees. Otherwise it's too uncomfortable... especially for a guy.

When I'm on my stomach, I wedge the second pillow under my right side which props me up a bit. I also rest my jaw on the second pillow which keeps my face propped up and allows the CPAP mask to sit straight and not leak. It only works if the hose is routed up over the headboard so that it doesn't pull down on the nasal pillows.

Maybe I'm taking 'side sleeping' too literally? Is it supposed to be completely on your side, or at some angle like Paula suggested?

Ideally I want to sleep in a position that doesn't require a second pillow. Besides being annoying to deal with when I have to turn around, it also adds more bulk which annoys my wife. She says that I tend to press the second pillow up against her at night. Back sleeping would be great but I'm afraid to try it again since a lot of folks on here preach against it and go to great lengths to stay off their backs. I don't know... nothing from the manufacturer or the sleep clinic said to stay off my back (I don't have a DME, so who knows what they would have told me).
If your using Sleepyheads or ResScan, what is your AHI? If its below 5 it doesn't matter whether you are on you back, side or stomach. I used to sleep on my stomach as well to keep my tongue forward it was uncomfortable, now I sleep which ever way I like and my AHI will range between 1-3. There is not really a great deal of difference in the numbers as long as your under 5 and as long as you feel ok the next day.
08-11-2013 10:09 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Posts: 8,095
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Machine: S9 Autoset
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F&P Simplus
Humidifier: H5i
CPAP Pressure: 14-20
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type; chronic sarcasm

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: western NC, USA

Post: #6
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
If sleeping on your back does not overly increase the OSA events, then go for it!

Yes, all those pillows can be intrusive.

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
08-11-2013 10:40 PM
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Paptillian Offline

Preferred Members-2

Posts: 474
Joined: Jun 2013

Machine: S9 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: Swift FX
Humidifier: H5i
CPAP Pressure: 4 - 10, EPR x2
CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post: #7
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
Well from what I can tell from the data my position doesn't affect my AHI much, nor the average pressure. The biggest difference I see is that the maximum/peak pressure is almost 1 cmH2O higher when sleeping on my back. Where I used to peak at about 9-9.5 a couple times a night, I now rarely get above 8. AHI is only slightly lower now at 0.7 instead of 1.0.

I did have one scary experience a few weeks ago when I was back-sleeping, but I don't know if that was the cause. It probably wasn't, but because of that experience I tried to change positions. http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...8#pid40458

Do you think there's any merit to training yourself to sleep on your side in case you ever fall asleep without the CPAP for some reason? Is sleeping on your back more potentially lethal?
(This post was last modified: 08-11-2013 11:24 PM by Paptillian.)
08-11-2013 11:18 PM
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Tez62 Offline

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Posts: 840
Joined: Feb 2013

Machine: Resmed S9 Autoset
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Resmed Mirage Quattro
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CPAP Pressure: 5-15
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post: #8
RE: need advice for side-sleeping; shoulder/arm hurts
Paptillian, there is almost no difference between 0.7 and 1.0 and there is hardly any difference between a pressure of 8 and 9.5, I would sleep in the position you and your wife are comfortable in and get a good night's sleep and be fresh the next day.
08-11-2013 11:21 PM
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