Issue sleeping on my Back and side with a CPAP machine

By Vagorin Latest Activity February 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm Views 1,553 Replies 2 Likes 2


Hello all I have been using my cpap machine for over 5 years now and I just got my resmed s9. Man I love that thing.

Anyways I have to sleep on my stomach. If I sleep on my side or on my back some morinings I wake up and I have a feeling in my arms and chest that They have fallen asleep. its almost as if you were to sit on your foot and all the blood has left. I have asked a couple of dr's and they don't seemed alarmed. BUt its weird. I'm a big guy and I take deep breaths when I sleep but I am wondering if i'm pinching a never or something in those positions. I sleep just fine on my back. But man I hate that feeling when I wake up. Has anyone else ever experianced this?


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Replies (2 replies)

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  • Avera
    Avera February 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm   

    I went to a site called the eHealth Forem and found a small amount of information for you. Before I copy it here I need to type something else first.

    **Without an examination by a specialist doctor, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine the cause of your symptoms. Though you may have the symptoms of a specific illness or condition, the fact that this happening after you sleep in certain positions could be something completely different from what you might expect. To protect your health, consult with a doctor to determine the cause. Get your regular doctor to get you an appointment with a specialist. You might even have to see more than one kind of specialist before the cause is determined.**

    Now here is the info that I copied from the Health Forem:

    "The symptoms that you describe - numbness and/or tingling after waking from sleep which rapidly improves - are typically caused by pressure on a nerve which stretches it, or which temporarily cuts off the blood supply to the nerve.

    This is quite common in the arms. The nerves which are being damaged are a group of large nerves passing from the lower part of the cervical spine in the neck, across the shoulder and down the arm into the hand. While this group of nerves run together they are known as the brachial plexus. But as they go down the arm they divide into individual nerves which control different arm muscles and different areas of skin sensation.

    The brachial plexus is probably affected if all the muscles in your arm are affected, and numbness is widespread rather than limited to certain sides or areas of your arm, then it is likely that it is the brachial plexus which is giving you problems rather than just one nerve.

    Injuries to the brachial plexus are common, especially in falls when the shoulder is pushed downwards away from the neck or when there is a blow to the side of the neck which stretches the nerves as they pass through.

    In your case it is likely that when you are asleep, the position you lie in stretches the brachial plexus on that side. This could be aggravated by your weight which adds extra downward pressure on the shoulder. This may not happen on your right side because the nerves there may follow a slightly different course which makes them less vulnerable to being stretched.

    Cervical Rib

    An alternative explanation is an unusual abnormality of the spine where there is a small extra rib on vertebrae above the normal first rib, often only on one side of the body. This abnormality is known as a cervical rib, and it can press on the lower part of the brachial plexus to cause the symptoms you describe.

    See your doctor…

    this sort of nerve compression rarely leads to any permanent damage. Changing your sleeping position and losing weight may help stop the problem.

    But you should check it out with your gp, who can look for rarer causes of arm numbness and may arrange an x-ray for a cervical rib (these may be surgically removed if symptoms are severe).

    If you have any other symptoms such as loss of movement in your legs, dizziness, headache or blurred vision you should seek urgent medical attention"

    Hope this helps…

  • Vagorin
    Vagorin February 15, 2011 at 10:26 am   

    I played a lot of football in my life something like 16 years. And my upper spine is all kinds of messed up. It does feel like a nerve pinch or something. and thats pretty much what I ahve heard from others. I just find it weird that it woudl happen when I sleep on my back. But givin the shape of my upper spine nothing really suprises me.

    Thanks for that Tid bit of information. I appreciate it. I am going to talk with my Dr about it next time I go in.

    Take care!

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