I Have a Hard Time Sleeping with the CPAP Device: What Are My Options?

Jan 11, 2024

I Have a Hard Time Sleeping with the CPAP Device: What Are My Options?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the primary treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. But you’re not alone if you find that the discomfort of the mask and noise from the CPAP machine makes sleeping difficult.

CPAP therapy is life-changing, but it’s not your only treatment option for sleep apnea.

Our sleep medicine expert Dr. Rajendra Rampersaud at NY Metro Sleep in The Bronx, New York, wants nothing more than for our sleepless and overtired patients to get the rest they need. We offer many options to help our patients with sleep apnea rest better.

Read on to learn more about sleep apnea and treatments that can help you sleep and breathe better at night.

About sleep apnea

Sleep apnea causes repeated interruptions in breathing while you sleep, stopping and resuming breathing hundreds of times every hour. Every time you stop breathing, your body wakes up briefly, without your awareness, to restart breathing. This cycle happens over and over again, making it impossible to get an adequate night of rest.

A few types of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Throat muscles relax and block the airway
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): The brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea:  A combination of CSA and OSA 

If you snore loudly while you sleep and feel exhausted when you wake up, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a sleep medicine expert for a sleep study

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that increases your risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The proper treatment for your sleep problem benefits your physical and emotional well-being.

Why CPAP therapy

For obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is one of the most effective treatments.

Therapy requires a CPAP device — a bedside machine that pushes filtered air through a tube and into a mask that goes over your nose, mouth, or both. The ongoing positive air pressure prevents the throat muscles from collapsing, allowing you to breathe easily when sleeping.

CPAP therapy is one of the best treatments for sleep apnea, but it’s not the right tool for everyone.

CPAP alternatives

If you’re unable to get used to your CPAP device and it’s making it hard to sleep, you have other options for treating your sleep apnea

CPAP alternatives include:

Lifestyle changes

Everyone with sleep apnea should incorporate lifestyle changes to improve their sleep. Regular exercise and following a set sleep schedule are some lifestyle habits we recommend for better sleep. 

We also recommend smoking cessation and getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Positional therapy

Positional therapy involves changes in how you sleep. It encourages you to sleep on your side to prevent the throat muscles from relaxing and obstructing the airflow.

Dental sleep appliances

Dental sleep appliances are removable mouthpieces that position the jaw and tongue to prevent obstruction. The dental sleep appliance is an alternative to the CPAP device and a treatment option we offer. 


We only recommend surgery for patients with severe sleep apnea who fail to find an effective nonsurgical treatment to manage the sleep disorder. Surgery involves removing some excess tissue in the throat to prevent the obstruction.

Upper airway stimulation (UAS) treatment

UAS treatment is one of the newest sleep apnea treatments. It’s an implanted device that monitors your breathing while you sleep and sends electrical impulses to the nerve that controls the tongue, forcing it to move forward to keep the airway clear.

When the CPAP device isn’t helping you sleep better, it’s time to consider other options. We can discuss sleep apnea treatments and develop a plan that works for you. Call our office today or use the online booking feature to make an appointment with our sleep expert.