See pap run. See pap on my nose. See pap on the floor when I wake up.
March 8, 2014 3:58 PM Subscribe
I have a CPAP machine that I am trying to get used to. How do I keep from taking the mask off in the middle of the night and falling back asleep?
posted by not_on_display to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have the kind of mask that just comfortably under the nose, cushioned by little gel-rings under the nostrils, and fastened to the head with comfortable gel-cushioned rubberfoam and velcro straps. The machine ramps up the air pressure automatically, so I have no control over that. I can fall asleep with it on, no problem. It has humidified, warmed air, and is actually very soothing. I wear earplugs so I don't hear any of the white noise (unless there's a leak, and the earplugs make it easy to hear if there is a leak and adjust the mask). Then, usually a few hours later, I wake up, take it off, and fall back asleep without realizing what I am doing, or not caring that I've done it.
Before I go to sleep every night, I remind myself that if I wake up in the middle of the night and take the mask off, that I should try and be mindful enough to realize what I am doing, and try and to summon the willpower to put it back on. But when it happens, I don't become fully conscious or aware of what I am doing, and my lizard-brain says "no way." In the morning when I wake up, I usually have no recollection of having taken it off in the first place.
It's important that I solve this problem -- not only because I want to let the machine help me get a good nights sleep eventually (I have moderate/severe apnea), but also because I am renting this CPAP machine, and it's subsidized by my insurance company. If, by May, I don't have the mask on for 4+ hours/night, 70% of the days in a 30-day period, the insurance company will no longer subsidize it.
I have tried sleeping with a hat on so that if I wake up and try to take the mask off, I go that extra step toward consciousness before realizing what I am doing, because I figure, taking a strap off my head before taking the hat off, that should wake me up, right? Nope. That strategy did work for two or three nights, but then it stopped being an effective deterrent.
My SO suggests I fashion a chinstrap, but I don't want to turn this into a DIY project. I am thinking I should sleep with the light on and the hat over my eyes (because I can), so when I take the hat off, the bright light will jar me awake. Anyway, I welcome any suggestions on how I can get myself awake and in a positive state of mind enough that I put the mask back lovingly back on after my lizard-brain loathingly rips it off.