CPAP - any experiences?

So, I've had a CPAP since last Tuesday. This thing is frustrating.
Here is where the rant starts, if you want to skip it and just get to the part where I ask for advice.
The first night, I guess I had the mask too tight because I ended up with sore spots on my nose and forehead. The next night, I loosened it, but I was so sore from the first night that it still hurt and was awful. I didn't sleep at all and was miserable the next day. The third night was much better, as long as I slept on my back. I move around in my sleep and typically sleep on my side, so that wasn't easy. If I turned onto my side, the air pressure would leak out of the mask. The only way to avoid that and still sleep on my side is to tighten the mask, which ends up hurting. Friday and Saturday I took Ambien and slept pretty well with the CPAP. I didn't notice the air leaks or the discomfort from having to stay on my back because I was drugged and didn't care. But staying on my back when I'm not used to it did give me a kink in my neck. Last night, I did not take Ambien because I don't like going to work with the groggy drugged feeling the next day. I should have taken it. I barely slept. The mask was determined to leak even if I stayed on my back and I couldn't get comfortable on my back anyway. My back and neck just hurt too much. So, today I was just tired and cranky all day. I don't want to be tired and cranky all day. I got this thing so I could sleep better and NOT be tired and cranky.
Anyway, ranting done. Do any of you have experience with CPAP? Any advice on fitting the mask and avoiding leaks? I am thinking that I will give it another night and then call the DME people tomorrow to schedule another fitting and see if maybe I'm doing something wrong or if I need a different mask. I am thinking it must be ok if it didn't give me trouble when I took the Ambien on the weekend. If it had leaked enough to be a problem, I don't think even the medication would have kept me from noticing. So, it must be me? How long should it really take to get used to this? If I am stuck having to sleep on my back, any tips to keep my neck and back more comfortable after a lifetime of sleeping on my side? I'll take any advice I can get. I just want to get a good night's sleep!

Raigne's picture


It's easier to sleep on your back when you're not used to it if you're in a semi sitting position (think adjustable bed). A couple of body pillows could help with that.

Eventually your muscles will get used to it and stop being sore.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Really try hard not to take that. See if your doctor will prescribe Lunesta or Sonata instead. Ambien can whack you out majorly the next day; a guy I used to work with got a DUI for driving erratically--he wasn't drunk, he was still groggy from the Ambien, eight hours after he woke up! My psych won't prescribe it at all.

blwinteler's picture


I was given the Ambien prescription almost a year ago when I was having trouble sleeping while coping with David's cancer. I hardly ever take it. When I do, it is only if I have NOTHING to do the next day because I know I will be groggy all day. It looks like I can't get Lunesta because it is only brand and it is non-formulary, so it would cost me a lot. Sonata appears to have a generic, so I will ask my doctor about it when I see him again.

Ianthe's picture

When I was using a CPAP, I had absolutely *no* luck with the mask provided (a simple nose mask), so they ended up fitting me with an entirely different type of mask. I would ask when you go in for your fitting, certainly.

Sorry I don't have better advice, but I can certainly commiserate. Keep trying, don't give up - but also, don't settle for being miserable every night. Good luck. Smile

blwinteler's picture


I managed to stay on my back, so I didn't have as much trouble. My neck is stiff today though. I will give it a few more nights I guess and see how I do. I apparently have up to 30 days to exchange the mask and still have it covered by my insurance (but can only exchange it once. HMOs are stupid), so I still have a few weeks to get it figured out.

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