CPAP Clinic Sleep Blog

Understanding your sleep health, sleep apnea and CPAP therapy

Move around a lot in bed? PAP therapy and mask fitting suffering? Let’s fix it. Part 2

Move around a lot in bed? PAP therapy and mask fitting suffering? Let’s fix it. Part 2



Moving around in bed (i.e. side sleeping and back sleeping) and working with a PAP mask can be a nuisance. Many weigh in and describe their struggles on a consistent basis in PAP forums, chat rooms, etc.

We’re examining common sleep positions and suggesting PAP mask alternatives to keep up with active sleepers.

In Part One of this series, we examined PAP mask options for back sleepers.

Today we discuss side-sleepers and the challenges of the maintaining a seal with Full Face Masks.

The PAP masks that do NOT work well with side-sleeping include some full face masks. Here is why some full face masks, such as the Resmed Quattro Fx and Sleepweaver Anew (or even more masks which are too numerous to list here) won’t work some of the time:

  • when the jaw opens, it breaks the seal around the jaw area and it creates a leak around the chin, which leads to ineffective therapy
  • the pillow bumps the mask and a leak ensues or the pillow is too thick or thin and creates a “pinched” aairway, causing minor choking and disruption to the mask fit.
  • the tubing weight pulls the full face mask off to the side, creating air escape into the eyes
  • the seal of the mask is not tight enough (or is made tighter than usual) and air pours out, thus ruining good sleep and making the PAP humidifier go empty.
  • some full face masks do not provide enough pressure around the bridge of the nose and lead to air leaks into the eyes.


Full Face Masks that work

Here are masks which have shown to work well with side sleeping and why:

  • the Resmed Quattro the four point headgear holds better to the head and virtually assures the mask stays; NOTE: the mouth is not prevented from opening
  • the Resmed F20 Full Face mask, the magnets and preset velcro adjustments on the headgear keep this mask in place; NOTE: the mouth is not prevented from opening
  • the Respironics Dreamwear Full Face Mask, it’s unique all silicone design holds the headgear portion and the tubing on the top of the head, which removes unnecessary tubing front hanging issues. The mouth and nasal accomodation is super soft and stays in place; NOTE: the mouth is not prevented from opening
  • the Respironics Amara View is much like the Dreamwear Full Face mask, only it has a plastic frame to hold the soft silicone nose and mouth portion for a secured fit. The back of the head headgear holds well; NOTE: the mouth is not prevented from opening
  • the Fisher-Paykel Simplus Full Face mask either one of these masks have four points of connection with headgear, securing it to the head quite well, plus these two masks are light and won’t bear down on your face, thereby remaining in place; NOTE: the mouth is not prevented from opening


Extra Considerations

  • A CPAP Pillow (yes, we know it’s not a mask) but, a CPAP Pillow keeps the mask from being dislodged with a convenient gap and in some cases, height adjustability. The Full Face Mask also remains intact, undisturbed and giving you great OSA therapy. Plus there is a harness to hold the tubing so it doesn’t move around and drag the mask away from your face.

Side Sleeping

  • A pillow for the knees. A knee pillow cushions the resting of knee atop knee, preventing impingment of the knee, hip and low back.
  • The Sleep Noodle is a special pillow which will work with any PAP user and mask to reinforce side sleeping. A foam piece sits within a zippered bag. This bag is attached to a velcro body strap (adjustable from 24 to 54 inch chest sizes) and it is worn around the chest. The entire Noodle prevents back sleeping by “stopping” you from rolling onto your back.


Combination Benefits?

Many have discovered combining a PAP Full Face Mask with a Positional Pillow Therapy Device works wonders for improving their quality of sleep. It may be a worthwhile investment.

Part Three of this series will explore another sleeping positon which challenges effective PAP therapy — stomach sleeping.


Call 1.877.430.2727 for help.

Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT

CPAP Clinic – hеаlthсаrе аt уоur hоmе
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