Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sobering facts

  Just a quick — but very important — item to share this time.
  If you need more motivation to address sleep-related issues, click here to see some attention-grabbing information in a graphic posted on the excellent Sleep Guide website.
  It is eye-opening and, hopefully, it inspires you to do more eye closing.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review of CPAP accessories

  The popularity of CPAP therapy has spurred an offshoot industry of accessories aimed at making the experience more tolerable for those who are finicky about sleeping with a mask.
  The cynical side of me says it's another opportunity for someone to make a buck, but my CPAP advocate side wins out because I believe strongly that people should deal with their sleep apnea.
  If these products aimed at comfort make it more likely people will stick with CPAP, then I am all for them.
  I tried a couple recently, including a cotton mask liner from RemZzzs.
  Basically, you set the liner inside the mask and strap it on along with a small piece that covers the forehead portion of the mask. Click here to see a video with more information.
  Along with having your face pressed against cotton rather than the rubber mask, the company touts benefits that include reducing noisy air leaks, absorbing facial moisture, preventing skin irritation and enabling the use of bedtime facial products. Most important and first on their and my list is promoting patient compliance. Amen.
  I also sampled products from Pad A Cheek, whose original product is exactly that - soft covers for the straps that rub against CPAP users' cheeks. Other offerings include a nose bridge protector and forehead pad, an anti-leak strap that holds the mask in place and its version of a mask liner.
  The products from both companies do add comfort and I am impressed by the innovation. For me personally, I wasn't struggling without them so I'm not sure I'll use them long-term since it's just more things to keep track of and deal with while sleeping. They can be a little tricky to install and get used to but I'm sure it gets easier with time. The detailed instructions from both companies help a lot.
  Each business also has a wealth of testimonials from satisfied customers so it is clear they are making an impact in the CPAP world.
  I must say I was most intrigued with the original Pad A Cheek product. Those may stay on my mask for awhile. The dark blue color also matches my strap. Custom designs are available. Now that's CPAP stylin'.
  If you are struggling with your CPAP experience, I urge you to explore these products. Visit and for more information.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Self-diagnosis, diabetes and silent strokes

  Like I’ve said before, sleep apnea news is all around us.
  A recent health supplement in The Oakland Press with ARA Content discussed an easy-to-remember acronym for determining if you may have sleep apnea — STOP.
  Snore - Do you snore loudly?
  Tired - Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleepy during the daytime?
  Observed - Has anyone observed you stop breathing during your sleep?
  Pressure - Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
  Time to call the doctor if you answered in the affirmative. Self-diagnosis is key since there is no blood test for apnea.
  In other news, a recent newsletter from the famed Mayo Clinic said sleep apnea is a risk factor for the development of diabetes. It cites a study presented to the Endocrine Society that exercise reduces the risk of death from both conditions.
  In fact, 15 years of fitness testing showed men who were the least fit had a 75 percent greater risk of death from apnea or diabetes than those who were most fit.
  Finally, a new study links sleep apnea to “silent strokes,” which damage the brain without symptoms, according to a report today from Yahoo News and Good Morning America.
  Click here to read more.