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[Treatment] Trouble Falling Asleep
Trouble Falling Asleep
Hey All,

I have been doing therapy for about 6 weeks. It took a couple of masks but I am now using the Resmed F20 full-face mask with memory foam. Mostly, the mask is comfortable and I'm not getting any leaks at night. 

However, I'm having a hard time falling asleep. It's usually one of a few things - Trying to be in a position with no leaks, the sensation (or it actually happening) of slobbering, cheeks starting to puff out on occasion, feeling claustrophobic, or just simply the pressure of trying to get to sleep. Typically it takes me 45 minutes or more to fall asleep with it on if I do at all.

Many times I get to the point that it's not worth having the mask on because I am losing precious time getting any sleep. At that point, I just rip it off and get to sleep without it.

I'm so angry about CPAP. The promise of all this great rest, not feeling tired during the day, etc. when it's doing the opposite for me.

I'm clearly venting here but am also asking for suggestions on falling asleep. I don't need general suggestions anyone would give for people falling asleep without CPAP, like taking a bath or reading. I don't have those issues. I just have issues because I have this thing strapped to my face.

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RE: Trouble Falling Asleep
Of course it's not normal to have something strapped to your face, and if you're claustrophobic, that doesn't help.

If you are using a starting pressure of 4cm as your profile states, then you may be feeling what we call "air starved". It's simply too low especially when using a full face mask. Since we have not seen your OSCAR data, what I'm suggesting is for comfort.

Try these standard settings:

Minimum- 7cm
Maximum- 15cm
Set EPR to 2

This should be more comfortable and help you sleep.

Post a chart after a day or two.
Apnea Board Administrator

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RE: Trouble Falling Asleep
Many of us experience a wide range of emotions when we are faced with drastic changes to our previous world of assumptions and pursuits.  Time devours everything, including what he took for granted in years past. So, you are in good company, and many of us have had your experience.  The trick is to persist, to persevere, and to prevail.  You must. The alternative is unthinkable.

I would suggest wearing your apparatus awake, learning what happens when you do X, Y, and Z.  Try to get used to the puffed-out cheeks.  It's a fact of life for almost all of us. As you get inured to the sensation, and with what it means, you'll come to accept it and it won't interfere with your sleep.  As you find which positions cause leaks, you'll learn not to sleep that way.  It will happen, you just have to go through a period of self-training for several nights until it becomes a habit.

You may have to seek a competent therapist who can used CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy for your sleep disturbance. I assume you already know about sleep hygiene and that you are assiduous about practicing it.  I have had an angiogram and two catheter ablations to isolate the ostia of the pulmonary veins from the rest of the endothelial lining of my left atrium. All three procedures left me with insomnia.  I don't have a history of using sleep aids, but in recent years I have resorted to the use of melatonin about once or twice a week...only...so as not to become habituated or 'used to' it.  But for these times, I needed more.  I went to my GP who prescribed just five tablets of Zopiclone.  I took half a tablet on nights when I simply needed to catch up, and that worked well.  Again, never two nights running, and usually as much as four or five nights toughing it out before I used another half-tablet.  This not only worked, and kept me from dependency, but eventually my normal sleep was restored.  It took about six weeks, but it happened eventually.  Maybe you need better therapy, as OpalRose has suggested, and also some help getting out of the cycle of angst, anger, and desperation.  Consult your GP.
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RE: Trouble Falling Asleep
Having an octopus on your face at night is not normal, let alone trying to fall a sleep with that contraption. Maybe what you need to do is adjust to it. Try wearing it for an hour one day while you’re reading or watching TV. Next day, 2 hrs and so on. I think you may be experiencing a little anxiety and it mushrooms from there. Baby steps may be the solution. This cpap stuff is a life journey from here on out. You need to experiment. You will get it and you will benefit from it. Good luck!
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RE: Trouble Falling Asleep
Sorry your having a rough go ! I have a F20 that is in my cpap box of goodies.  Alot of clinicians the F20 mask is there go to . The F20 mask is a decent mask for some , too much pressure on the nose for me.  Handing this mask out to a beginner is a huge adjustment , which can be done. 

I am currently using nasal pillows and between the f20 and trying nasal pillows it took me forever to fall asleep as well.  Now ive adjusted and are out with in five minutes . Hang in there your time will come .

I did use ramp at 5 inh20  which was hard to breathe and after 30 minutes it would go full pressure and I'd struggle .

Opal Rose gave you some settings which should help , with my settings she encouraged me too essentially wein myself off ramp . Now it's not an issue too falll sleep without ramp .

Opal Rose is awesome ! Follow her advice and suggestions and you will get some great sleep once you do some tweaks.  I'm currently making some adjustments . But she's given me alot of help and can now fall asleep sooner and longer.  

Thanks Opal Rose by the way .
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RE: Trouble Falling Asleep
Maybe before you put the mask on, try as much as you can to get into sleep mood. If that is possible. Probably would fall asleep and forget to do the mask. 

Try a Sleep prep breathing pattern of
“4 - 2 - 4 – 2” pattern through your nose.
Four seconds inhale through the nose. Hold for two seconds. Four seconds exhale through the nose. Hold for two. Repeat.This is supposed to mimic the pattern of breathing when you are in deep sleep. 

Maybe try it for 5 or 10 minutes before you put the mask on. 

My previous Doc had no problem with me being on Nasal pillows. My current Doc wants full face but will allow the hybrids. 
Recently I have been reading about the importance of nasal breathing for health and to get you to sleep. 
So most of the time, I am back to my nasal mask.   ;-)
-- Bill
Struggling to keep the air moving like everyone else …  ?

Standard Disclaimer:
I'm just a CPAP user like you. I can't give medical advice. 
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