I have a hard time sleeping with a cpap machine

By tink33 Latest Activity January 30, 2010 at 3:01 am Views 3,522 Replies 10 Likes 2


I was locked in a closet for a year by my sister and i have a fear of anything on my face. It is very scary. They set it on delay reaction and i am going to try that. I also have restless leg sydrome and they give me requip it really helps. I am on a lot of medication but it all works really well.

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Replies (10 replies)

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  • hoob
    hoob October 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm   

    I saw an ad for a new type of mask that has nasal pillows and a mouthpiece that fits over the upper teeth. All of it is below the nose and this might help since you really couldn't see any of the hardware, hoses, etc. Sorry but I didn't keep the website. Maybe somebody else knows what it is. Be aware it's $180.

  • nancylewis
    nancylewis October 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm   

    Hi - You have gotten lots of good ideas about getting used to the mask. Here is something for the next step. I have found the starting air pressure on the ramp is gentle, and very relaxing. If I breathe with it, I find myself calming down and falling asleep fairly quickly. Sometimes I will turn the machine on and off to reset the ramp and repeat the cycle, but I believe the ramp time can be adjusted in the machine settings. In any event, it is about relaxing and slowing the breath.

    This must be really difficult for you. I am sure that everyone has told you that when you get used to it, the difference in the way you feel will be a big pay off - hang in there.

  • Tracy
    Tracy October 13, 2010 at 11:35 am   

    I totally agree with the suggestion of using a nasal pillow mask system. It is my personal choice as well. I am more comfortable with LESS ON MY FACE. With nasal pillows, nothing lays above the nostrils, so no mask frame on the face and no forehead pads.

    some other suggestions:
    to help you get used to sleeping with a mask on your face - practice by wearing it during the day while watching tv - sit upright in a chair with mask and machine turned on. Turn your focus to the tv as a distraction. It will help create a feeling of familiarity and create a more natural habit of wearing the mask.

    Try using a visualization technique - something I learned from a PhD sleep doc a few years ago - he told me to create a safe and happy place in my mind - somewhere that I could " go to" to take my focus off anything that was bothering or upsetting to me.

    It took me some weeks and maybe even months ( because I kept changing and evolving my special place :) ) but I can now close my eyes or focus any time and find myself laying in a meadow of wild flowers next to a bubbling brook - I can smell the flowers, hear the water movement and feel a warm breeze and sunshine on my body. There are no BUGS or SNAKES in my special place :) :) :) because I created it - so when I have trouble falling asleep because I cannot "shut my wandering thoughts off about what I did today or what I have to do tomorrow" I go my special place!

    Sometimes too - we have trouble falling in to a natural rhythm of breathing on CPAP - so we must learn to relax and take our thoughts off of the sound of the cpap machine and the mask on our face and the blast of air… even after my being on PAP for 20 plus years, i sometimes feel overwhelmed by my high pressure of 20 - so again, i try to relax and NOT think about the air coming at me - and I go to my special place! It works really well for me!

    Hope this will be helpful to you!


  • Kel Smith
    Kel Smith October 13, 2010 at 10:48 am   

    When I was 6 years old, I had to have my tonsils taken out. This was before they had clear masks. The last thing I remember before going under was this black mask coming for my face. It scared me so bad, that even 35 years later, I would still wake up shaking from the nightmares.

    I have always avoided things on face as a results. However, I knew I had to find a way to be able to wear my mask at night. My biggest ally was sheer exhaustion. The next thing I did to get used to the mask was put it on during the day before I went to sleep. This way I would be able to confront any fear I had during the light of day.

    For me it made all the difference.

  • tSquare
    tSquare October 13, 2010 at 12:13 am   

    Here is a thought on a possible means of accustomization of the mask before you actually use it at night on your own…

    Yes, you have real, honest, for you issues associated with having something on your face and litterally strapped on you. Perhaps you might try getting accustomed to the mask & rigging while you are awake. Um, wierd I know, but it is an option. With the hose off the mask (or nasal pillow) is just a funnel with an opening on it. In other words, you can still breath without the hose on and the CPAP machine going on the other end while you are awake, or asleep actually. You could even work with your councilor/shrink on adaption to the mask and rigging in their office before you try for the sleeping with it.

    Just a different way to work on a personal barrier possibly.

    Good luck !

  • sleepless64
    sleepless64 October 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm   

    Hi there. I am new to this sleep disorder. I don't know how it is going to go with me having to wear a mask everynight. Like I said earlier, I am scared to death to have anything over my face or over my nose at all. During surgeries, they have to slowly put the mask on. The actually have to roll it from the side very slowly and generally I am asleep by the time they get in on all of the way. So I really can't react. I am just going in for my second sleep study next week. This is the one where I have to wear the mask all night. I just hope I can keep it on. I definitely need something to help my sleep; which in turn with help my anxiety and panic attacks and also my being tired every day all day. During the day I could sleep for 10 hours or more with no problem. At night, it's a whole different ball game. I, too, am on a lot of medication. We are hoping that with my wearing the mask during the night that it will help with some of my other problems and I will be able to come off of a lot of the meds I am currently on. Well, Tink33, I wish you the best of luck and maybe we can hook up and talk on here another time. Best of luck to you, sleepless64.

  • donbravo
    donbravo March 8, 2013 at 7:45 am   


  • alanco39
    alanco39 February 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm   

    I am a psychiatrist, and I want to sympathize with your fear. I think it is possible for you to get accustomed to your C-PAP mask, with patience and persistence. Or, you might do well with the "mask" that fits only into your nostrils. This is what I use, and I am a BELIEVER in the nasal openings device.

  • denisek
    denisek October 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm   

    I too struggled with having the mask on my face and the feeling of lack of control and violation. My machine was also adjusted to my breathing and is a nasal mask. I don't know if this will help but remember you have the control in this. You can choose whether you hold it up to your face to get use to it… wear it or take off etc. You didn't have the control then. Be empowered. I am sorry this happened to you and I will pray for you. Ha I just saw you wrote in Jan. I hope you are doing much better now. It may take soem time for me to get use to this site. : )

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