CPAP treatment requires the use of a mask, which is why many people feel that CPAP users should sleep on their backs because the mask is too large to allow them to sleep comfortably on their side or stomach.
However, there are several designs of CPAP masks, some of which are bulkier than others. While some CPAP users are required to use a specific type of mask, others are free to choose a mask based on their preferred sleeping position.
When choosing a CPAP mask, it is extremely important to follow the advice of your sleep specialist.
Before switching mask types, talk to them to see if your preferred option is right for you. Every type of mask is shaped like this for a reason, and not all masks are suitable for all CPAP users.
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Table of Contents
CPAP Mask Types
All of these accessories are suitable for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, but they have design differences, as well as some nuances in their use.
Full face masks are the most bulky as they cover both the nose and mouth, while nasal masks only cover the nose.
Nose pillow masks are the least intrusive as they only cover the nostrils and do not have a hard shell.
Since CPAP masks require a snug fit to avoid air leakage, sleeping with pressure on the mask is more than uncomfortable – it can also compromise the effectiveness of your treatment.
The headgear of a CPAP mask can also interfere with sleep, especially if it has hard plastic buckles or hard fixing straps.
When choosing a CPAP mask, you must consider both the footprint of the mask—length and width, as well as depth—and where the headgear rests against your face.
The goal is to find an effective mask that you can sleep comfortably in.
Which CPAP Mask is Best for Stomach Sleepers?
Sleeping on your stomach is the rarest sleeping position, and people who sleep on their stomachs have particular concerns when choosing a CPAP mask.
The position causes most masks to press against the face, causing discomfort and frequent air leaks.
Depending on the size of your mask, it can also put your head into a position that puts strain on your neck and can cause pain or stiffness the next day.
Nasal pillow mask will be a great option for stomach sleepers.
They are made in the form of tube-liners that are adjacent to the nostrils and supply air directly to the nose.
On the face, they are practically not felt, and this is their indisputable “plus” of a nasal pillow mask.
The low location of the nasal pads makes them ideal for this as they are unlikely to move or cause pain.
However, even people who use a nasal pillow should ensure that their actual pillow matches the mask.
Some masks also have a tube located along the temples, which can cause air restriction depending on your position and the firmness of the pads.
But, unfortunately, such an accessory is not suitable for everyone, and here’s why.
- Inability to use with high therapeutic pressure. Cannulas are intended for patients who are assigned a low level of therapeutic pressure. When the pressure rises, the nostrils are strongly stretched. This is not only unpleasant, but can also lead to injury to the mucous membrane.
- Drying of the mucosa. When air is supplied directly to the nostrils, it is more difficult to combat the feeling of dryness in the nose. Of course, the medical device has a special attachment that humidifies and heats the supplied air, but even this may not be enough.
Thus, nasal pillow masks are a good option for patients with low therapeutic pressure, as well as those prone to claustrophobia. However, in all other cases, nasal masks are preferable.
Can you Sleep on your Stomach While Using a CPAP Machine?
For best results, the CPAP machine should be used every night.
It is desirable to use it even during daytime sleep.
Some patients find it difficult to use the CPAP machine regularly because of the discomfort caused by the mask.
There are various approaches to overcome this problem:
Take small breaks of 1-2 days during CPAP therapy.
At the same time, it is necessary that the nights when you sleep using the device are at least 70%. It is especially important to use the CPAP machine on nights when you took sleeping pills, drank alcohol or were too tired the night before..
Use the CPAP machine for the first time for 4-5 hours of sleep at night, and then remove the mask and sleep without it.
After falling asleep, a person’s sleep is usually deep enough and, as a rule, he does not feel discomfort from the mask and air flow.
When I started to use the CPAP Machine, I thought it was very inconvenient.
I thought about how to Sleep, how to turn around?
In fact, everything is much simpler. The Mask Hose is elastic, it’s all silicone, and I literally got used to it for 3-5 days and still sleep as I want: on the right side, on the left, on the back, on the stomach, twisting and turning, it absolutely does not interfere.
Everything is elastic, everything is very comfortable, well, as comfortable as it can be.
My mask for the CPAP machine is very easy to put on, that is, you don’t need any special knowledge…
Will The Treatment Work If I can’t Sleep With the CPAP Machine Every Night?
Even if CPAP therapy is carried out for more than 4 hours per night and for 2/3 nights, it will still significantly improve the general condition, quality of life and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to Get Used to a CPAP Machine?
Getting used to the device in 90% of cases occurs almost immediately. However, some people may still have difficulty adjusting to the device. In this case, getting used to CPAP therapy should be phased.
How to Choose Optimal CPAP Therapy?
It is good if the first night with the CPAP machine will pass under the supervision of an experienced specialist. Thanks to this, you can choose the optimal treatment settings, minimize discomfort.