Sleeping with a Bipap Machine

Living On O2 for Life

Bipap Machine

This is a machine that pretty much saved my life! I can no longer sleep without it. It’s called a Bipap machine. I wear the mask over my whole nose and the machine forces room air mixed with oxygen into my lungs and then only allows me to exhale a small amount. This keeps my lungs filled with air at all times. I started using this machine in 1993. The models of this machine has greatly improved over the years. Mine has a small memory card that when the doctor pulls it out (It looks like a credit card), he can use his computer to read how much I actually use the machine. Last week, the doctor looked at the card and it showed that I use my bipap on average of 12 hours a day. Granted, some days I use less and some days I use more due to not feeling well.Β This is a pretty neat machine. On the front of this machine is a water reservoir that acts as a humidifier. The water is warmed (if you want to turn on the heater) by the plate that the machine sits on. This comes in handy during the winter time when the air is cold. It will warm up the air that flows through the humidifier before you inhale. That really helped when I had bronchitis last September.

When I first started using the bipap, my husband had a hard time looking at me. He was a little scared because this was yet another step in my health declining. The mask wasn’t a very sexy thing to wear to bed.. I must admit. But, it gave me back my energy during the daytime. I could sleep at night without feeling like I was falling into a deep dark hole and not able to wake up. Before using this machine, I would nearly stop breathing and my CO2 went sky high. My breathing was so shallow that sleeping with just my oxygen on wasn’t enough anymore. I had to use the bipap.

It was really hard to get use to the force of air going through my nose. At times, it would blow out my sinuses and make me extremely miserable. Other times, I have trouble with stuffed up nose when I lie down to sleep.

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13 thoughts on “Sleeping with a Bipap Machine

  1. Christine,
    I think I started my bipap around the same time. It also saved my life. I can’t sleep without it and if I tried, my CO2 would skyrocket. I actually bought a deep cycle marine battery to keep in my house, in case I lose electricity. It hasn’t happened since I got it, but it makes bad storms less stressful for me, knowing I have back-up.
    It took me a couple of years to be convinced to go on bipap. Once I got used to it and realised how much better I felt, I wish i had done it sooner!

    • Hi Cindy,
      I was looking online and found that there are battery packs for bipap machines. I was surprised! I found a website for this at: http://cpap-supplies.directhomemedical.com/battery-powered-bipap

      I know what you mean about the power going out and you end up not being able to sleep. For some reason, our power outages seems to be at night. I end up sitting up reading on my cellphone until the power comes back on. I hate it when it happens during the summer months.

      The best thing to do is call your utility companies to let them know about your health situation and ask to be placed on a priority service list. It will help ensure that you are priority on getting your power restored quickly.

      • Christine,
        It was the bipap supply company that suggested the deep cell marine battery over their bipap battery. I guess it lasts longer and is much cheaper! The only thing I had to buy from them was the adapter to attach it to my bipap.
        I did alert the electric company about my health situation. Hopefully it will help next time the lights go out!

  2. I started using a bipap in 2010 and it took a while to get used to. I use the humidifier now because I would have a bloody nose every morning. I have a couple of questions relating to everyone’s bipap use if you don’t mind? Let me start by saying that this problem could possibly be caused one or more of the other mysterious things wrong with me. Ok so does wearing your mask make you hot? I swear that my body temperature goes up about 5 degrees and it makes it hard to sleep right away. Everyone else in the house is cold because I turn the air cooler at night. πŸ™‚ The pure oxygen is the only cause that I can think of.

    • Hi Mina. I can’t say that wearing my Bipap mask makes me hot. Though, when I’m in bed with my mask on trying to get comfortable, the effort and energy I expend doing so makes me warm and breathless. I don’t know much about your health condition but I do hope the hot feelings go away.

      I hope someone who reads your question here can help you more. Thank you for your question. Feel free to ask whatever you are concerned about.

      Christine

  3. Hi Christine!

    I have Multiple Sclerosis, and because of that I use a special type of BiPAP called an Adaptive Servo Ventilator (ASV). Basically, when I stop breathing, due to Central Sleep Apnea, it will provide me a breath upon detecting that I didn’t take a breath. Otherwise it works just like a normal BiPAP.

    I have a mask called a FitLife, by Phillips Respironics. It is a full face mask that also covers the eyes. I no longer have a problem with air blowing forcefully into my eyes, since it covers them. With the humidifier, I have no problems with dry eyes, or anything else.

    So I understand having complex medical problems. My Central Sleep Apnea is just one part of the problems that I have.

    You are so brave for dealing with what you have in your life! IO will keep praying for you!

    • Frank,

      I cannot imagine what it’s like to wear a bipap mask that covers your eyes. Does it create any eye pain from the pressure of the air? I wonder why Respironics made a mask to fit the whole face. Maybe I’m thinking this wrong. I’ll go search these masks out to see what they look like. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. You are so kind and I hope you have a happy life. *hugs*

      Christine

      • No, it doesn’t create any pain whatsoever! I love it. It is just the same as a firefighter wearing their SCBA mask. Those are pressurized also. To me, it is VERY comfortable! Thank you for your response! πŸ™‚ Hope all is well for you right now. I cannot imagine having to live with what you do! I have back problems myself (4 herniated disc, with one being torn. The are C6-7, T1-2, L4-5, and L5-S1. L5-S1 is torn), but with your scoliosis, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that you have/are going through! Take care!!

      • Im so glad your mask is comfortable for you. I’m a stomach sleeper…so I’m wondering if it would take a while to retrain myself to sleep comfortably with your kind of mask. It took a while for me to get used to the mask I use now. It has a T-bridge on my forehead. I have curl the corner of my pillow under to give the bridge room. Crazy, isn’t it? haha! πŸ˜‹

  4. I am new to the machine and cannot get a mask to fit properly. My pressure is 13/9 and this is my third mask. I wonder if the pressure is too much for the mask they gave me. When I press the sleep button which reduces the pressure, I am fine. But during the night I wake up due to the leaking of air. Anyone else have this problem?? I need to sleep!!!!

    • Hi there. I don’t think your mask problem is from the pressures from your Bipap. Mine are 17/5 and though at times I have a little leakage when moving around in bed, it not from the pressure. How tight do you have the straps on your head gear? They need to be pretty snug but not tight to wear it’s crushing your upper lip. You should have a strap that goes around the back of your head at the top and the base just above your neck. The strap that wraps around the base of your head will need to be a snug fit. The top should be fastened last and at a comfortable pressure to your forehead connections of your Bipap mask. My Bipap does not have a sleep button. It sounds more like a temporary comfort feature that allows you to adjust to being on your Bipap to fall asleep. I hope this helps. –Christine

    • I agree with Christine that it shouldn’t be that your pressures are too high. My settings are over 20 and I don’t have any mask fit problems. Are you wearing a mask that covers just the nose or both the nose and mouth? They tried to get me to use a full face mask and I had constant problems with leakage during the night. I was miserable. I do much better with a mask that just covers my nose. I had to try quite a few different masks to get one that worked for me, though. If you have a respiratory therapist that works with you, I would let them know you need to find a mask that you can tolerate. There are a lot of masks out there! It’s an awful feeling not being able to sleep! Good luck.

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