CPAP and anxiety

by Arwel

I have had my CPAP for just over a week now but finding it very difficult to sleep with it on, full mask, i am trying to force myself to sleep!

I feel as if I have not slept at all ,my eyes feel heavy and I am getting anxious about wearing the cpap!


Feeling anxious about wearing the CPAP, or having claustrophobia while wearing a full face mask is a very common problem in CPAP users.

Acclimating yourself to the CPAP mask in the daytime may help with the anxiety. You can find more about this problem in the article about CPAP claustrophobia, or in the answer about CPAP and anxiety.

There can be other issues that may trigger your difficulty to fall asleep with the CPAP mask, and is very important to identify them, such as:
  • pressure issues - when the pressure from CPAP is so high, that you can't relax enough to fall asleep; when is difficult to breathe against the pressure; when the pressure is very low that you can't inhale properly, etc.

  • mask issues - when the mask is not fitted well to your face; when you have leaks (mostly into your eyes), etc.

  • CPAP hose issues - when the hose has water inside (rainout); when your feeling surrounded by the hose, etc.

All these issues can be overcome by learning how to sleep well with a CPAP mask, through experience or from other sources, like this website.

Remember that if you have only anxiety related to wearing a CPAP mask, you may need to wear the mask during the day, while you are awake (watching TV, reading a book, etc). Start from wearing just a couple of minutes, and then increase the time.

In some severe cases with anxiety, the patient will have to receive help from a specialist, and he may suggest a prescription of anti-anxiety medication. But this is very rare in CPAP users.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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