Tips to Stop Taking Off Your CPAP Mask While You Sleep

Tips to Stop Taking Off Your CPAP Mask While You Sleep

February 13, 2014 | |

There are a few issues that challenge many OSA patients in the early stages of CPAP therapy. One is waking to find that they have somehow removed their CPAP masks during the night. This is problematic for receiving the optimal health benefits of CPAP therapy. And, it may also cause compliance issues for those patients where insurance requires minimal compliance standard checks via data monitoring. This is an issue in the long term that can affect both health outcomes and compliance issues. However, there are a number of tips to stop this involuntary practice sooner rather than later.

ResMed Mirage Activa LT
ResMed Mirage Activa LT at

Longtime CPAP mask users provide a number of tips, some of which are more radical than others. User suggestions have included wearing mittens to make it more difficult for your subconscious physical self to remove the mask. Other more mask-oriented fixes have run the gamut from adding tape to band-aids in strategic spots.

Still, others have utilized an extra strap to stabilize the mask while being sure it cannot slide and block the exhale vents or putting the CPAP mask chin strap over the mask as a preventive measure.

The challenge of nighttime CPAP mask removal can point to a fundamental problem of choosing the correct equipment. This includes CPAP masks, headgear, and chinstrap to fit your head size, shape and facial features. The proper sizing will aid in comfort and prevent air leaks during the night. Previous blogs here and here have explored this process. They also suggest involving The CPAP Shop experts in making the right choice.

Respironics Comfort Fusion Nasal CPAP Mask
Respironics Comfort Fusion Nasal CPAP Mask at

The choice of the CPAP mask is critical with a wide variety of mask types available to suite each user. Some find that a full face mask is the best solution. However, others choose a nasal mask or a nasal pillow mask, which provide an unobstructed view. Some find that an oral mask will provide less restriction while still enabling a secure fit that is unlikely to be removed at night. Hybrids between full face masks and nasal masks can provide both broad and very specific remedies to a variety of CPAP mask challenges.

The whole concept of mask aversion can range from the natural adjustment time to wearing a mask on your face at night to more severe phobias that can last for much longer. In addition, users have made note of the possibility that air pressure is too low or humidity is too high as a reason for subconsciously removing their mask. Also, too little humidity, which can lead to dry nose and throat, can also be the source of the problem.

ResMed Swift FX Nano For Her Hybrid CPAP Mask
ResMed Swift FX Nano (for Her) hybrid mask at

Since this entire range of people can be dealing with nighttime CPAP mask removal, past blogs have discussed aversion therapy. More topics are sleeping position, use of humidification as well as air pressure “ramping” to combat these issues. Humidification in and of itself can be a somewhat multi-pronged issue. So, other blog posts have dealt with its effectiveness in improving compliance and comfort.

Compliance is the only way to ensure the improvements in health and increase in the quality of life that CPAP therapy can bring. That is why the many people that have experienced the benefits and the challenges that come with therapy have worked hand in hand with the experts to find the best solutions. Ultimately, working with the professionals at The CPAP Shop can provide the answers to virtually every issue that may arise in the beginning stages of using your CPAP mask as well as any that may manifest into long-term challenges.

However you decide to deal with CPAP therapy, we are always here to answer questions or address concerns about equipment. Get in touch directly at or by calling 1-866-414-9700.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.