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New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - Printable Version

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New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - grobinson499 - 06-01-2019

I got a cPAP on wednesday 5/29 for moderate SA. Resmed Airsense 10. I requested to be able to sleep on my back, which i was assured I would be able to do.

First night, was able to get a couple hours on my back, but the machine responded my mask seal was a bad fit, and I felt like my sleep was broken all night.' (AHI 14)

tightened it for night 2, no better, turned up the humidifier a bit since my throat was a bit dry on night 1, but it woke me up in the morning when the reservoir was near empty, it started making a knocking noise of some sort, but at least i got a few hours of sleep. (AHI 5)

this is night 3 - the noise kept happening, but stopped. sleeping on my back has only resulted in me waking up consistently. sleeping on my side is causing the tube to come out of the bottom (simplus mask). tried to lay on my back again so this won't happen - then i feel like the mask is pulling in when i'm breathing if the pressure gets above 10.0 or so.

I took it off last night, and took something to sleep at 4am. i did sleep until 11 but i'm miserable and tired this morning, where has i've been in a good mood with the broken sleep with the machine.

i'm over this machine, tbh. $700 down the drain so far and the only thing I am is unfathomably tired and completely P*ssed off. I feel like this whole process from the awful at home sleep test to this machine has been a waste of time.

I only read how these things have changed peoples lives.  I've been crying for hours thinking that I am just never going to get a good night's sleep and there must be something wrong with me.  I keep hearing this could take months, and I don't know if I can go through this for months.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - sheepless - 06-01-2019

most of us come here because of our own experiences like yours. poke around the forum a bit and you'll see many threads that begin like yours and end with vastly improved outlooks. you're not likely to get a good night's sleep and feel better by giving up cpap so it's worth the frustration and effort to stick with. the good folks here will help you get it sorted out.

getting things sorted is an exercise in trial and error. mask fit is often the most difficult part of the process. others can tell you about online suppliers that let you try masks or you can click on the supplier list in the black bar at the top of this page and do your own research. your dme provider might allow you a few mask trials as well. there are many mask reviews in the product review section of the forum and it's a common topic in the main forum as well.

post some of your rescan charts or go to top of this page and click on OSCAR in the black bar. OSCAR is the preferred reporter of our machine data around here. you'll have to provide detailed data to get the best guidance from experienced members.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - grobinson499 - 06-01-2019

Thank you for your reply - I only have 2 nights total of data so i'm not sure how much that will help, but I will certainly give it a shot if that will give a better picture.  From reading, I'm finding that my mouth breathing is causing the issues I am having.  The 'darth vader' effect on the mask is making me crazy and I think it's what's keeping me awake.  are there any thoughts on this?

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - Melman - 06-01-2019

Two nights of data will be helpful. See the links below for downloading OSCAR and organizing an posting your data. Some of the charts are much more important than others for routine review. Be sure to read the OSCAR  installation link 0n the OSCAR download page. You will also need to learn how to adjust pressure settings on your machine. The instructions are here: https://www.apneaboard.com/resmed-airsense-10-aircurve-10-setup-info

Once you post some data we will be able to provide more advice. See the mask primer also. It may be helpful.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - sheepless - 06-01-2019

only a couple general thoughts until you can get some machine data together.

at min 4 cmw it is possible you are struggling to inhale. raise it to 5 for a night or two. 6 if you feel some but not enough improvement. find your median pressure in rescan stats, or better, in OSCAR; one rule of thumb is to set min to 1 cmw below median. avoid or minimize the duration of ramp if you can tolerate it.

you might avoid the darth vader effect (if I can guess what that is) with a different mask type. if you're mouth breathing, you might stick with a full face mask (ffm) but I've never used one so wait for others to suggest ways to improve your existing mask fit and/or other models to try. nasal pillow masks are favored by many because their small footprint (I'm self-amused by the image that term suggests) and light weight but you'll still have to take measures to mitigate mouth leaks.

some people simply can't breathe through their nose, in which case you'll need to stick with a ffm. others' jaws drop, especially when on their back (suggesting another line of attack). still others, like me, get lip leaks (sometimes chipmunk cheeks as well). one of the most discussed topics is masks and how to deal with leaks. poke around and you'll learn a lot.

the main methods of dealing with mouth leaks are tape, chin strap, soft cervical collar and the tongue suck method, alone and in various combinations. you just have to experiment to find what works for you. my personal preference is the soft cervical collar, not because I like it, but because it's the one that works for me.

try to ask specific questions for best answers. search the forum for these terms. read the Wiki you can click on at the top of this page. I'm sure others will comment as well.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - Dormeo - 06-01-2019

Moderate apnea means you’re having 15 to 30 events per hour, on average. That trashes your sleep, and in the long run it increases your risk of life-threatening illness. I know you know this, but it can be hard to keep it front and center during a rotten period of adjustment.

Others have given you lots of good advice, and once you can post some data you will probably get more. Let me just chip in with two other areas for you to explore: your hose management and your pillow.

I use a product called Hose Buddy, which routes the hose up over my head. When I get it adjusted right, I can avoid tugging on my headgear. Many people rig up something similar by using hooks, headboards, light fixtures, etc.

I’ve found I do better with a fairly firm pillow. I’m a side-sleeper, so maybe that’s not relevant for you. But there are specialty pillows in all kinds of shapes, including some that might work well for a back-sleeper.

I had a really nightmarish first ten days, and then things started getting better. I think it’s a really encouraging sign that you felt in a good mood after using the machine, even though your sleep was broken.

Above all, you are not alone, there’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s every reason to think that you will find the tweaks that will let you get a good night’s sleep. Hang in there, and keep posting!

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - sheepless - 06-01-2019

following up on Dormeo's excellent suggestions (I meant to mention similar but forgot), fabricated hose management systems are great. meanwhile, a simple hook or hanging lanyard above your bed or draping the hose over the headboard is all it really takes to help keep from tangles, semi-strangulation and yanked mask. as for pillows, there are some that apparently help keep you off your back. then there's the old tennis ball sewn into the back of your pj's trick. pillows can be good or bad with respect to mask fit and knocking the mask askew as you move in sleep. for me, a buckwheat pillow seems to work best inasmuch as it conforms to whatever's on it so it doesn't knock my mask askew, it doesn't compress cheeks and mask parts on the side of one's head as much as other pillows. I gave up my foam contour pillow for those reasons. there are pillows designed for cpap use out there to try.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - Apnea Infant - 06-01-2019


You have had such good posts, it is difficult to find more to add till you post some data.

I only want to say that it does all seem so so daunting in the early days, weeks. The darth vader description of the full face mask is so apt, ti makes me smile. I did feel so trapped by it and had so so many broken nights sleep, think for about 2 months until I found the community here. The nasal pillows suited me better than the ffm mainly due to my face architecture more than anything else. There are many who swear by the ffm. The best mask is the one that you and you alone can tolerate.

I am going to give the new nasal resmed N30i a try soon and this has the hose held at the top of the head doing away with the need for hose buddies. Many swear by another good nasal in the F & P Brevida but it did not suit me. A good mask fit is the one of most important aspect of whether CPAP becomes successful to start with.

Please please do not give up. The early days are tough even though some seem to take to it like duck to water and good on them. However for most of us it is persistence that reaps rewards. Now if I so much as forget (which I don't much at all) or have the odd time that my nose is running too much or I am spluttering with a cough such that I can't mask up, I notice the difference in myself the next day.

Hang on in there and the good people here will guide you though understanding your own treatment.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - Graywolf - 06-01-2019

I have been using an APAP (ResMed S9 Autoset with Mirage Swift II Headgear using nasal pillows) for about 10 years. It takes a week or more to adjust to this "strange" feeling of CPAP therapy, but it is well worth it. A full face mask is very claustrophobic and I would not recommend it. Nasal pillows are the way to go, but many people can't keep their mouths closed (including me) for the nasal pillows to be effective. I got a chin strap to keep my mouth closed while on APAP. It worked pretty well -- and after a week or so, I was able to stop using the chin strap (my body adjusted to keeping my mouth closed without using the chin strap). Be patient, work with the machine and headgear, even if a little each night and gaining more usage over time -- it will be a blessing to your health.

P.S. - Your loss of water from the reservoir is probably because of air leakage from your mouth mask/pillows fit.

RE: New CPAP user - keeping me awake every night so far - grobinson499 - 06-01-2019

This is the OSCAR data: