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73: How to start a CPAP conversation with your bed partner

cpap Aug 26, 2023
How to start a CPAP conversation with your bed partner

Sharing your bed with someone is an incredibly intimate experience. It's an expression of vulnerability where you reveal your truest self, pajamas on or off, hair a little disheveled, and face unfiltered.  At bedtime, your tired brain and body may not be functioning at their best.  And with sleep, you are in a state of unconsciousness.  Sleeping with someone is an exercise in trust.

So when CPAP enters the equation, it can feel like another vulnerability challenge.  There’s your appearance with the mask and tubing.  The noises may be disruptive and unpredictable.  The bedside machine is decidedly unsexy.  The whole thing may leave you feeling rather insecure.  But deep down, you know that you need this device to breathe, so you gather your strength to proceed.

Your bed partner, being a different person with their own opinions, may have various reactions to your CPAP treatment.  And those may evolve over time.  My hope for you is that your bed partner is supportive.  But if they have doubts, resistance, or objections to your therapy, I want to equip you with some ways to open up a conversation.  

Consider using these phrases as a starting point:  

“I understand that the sound of my CPAP machine may be bothering you.  Can you give me an idea of what sounds are affecting you?”

“I want to make sure that we both get a good night's rest. Is there anything we can do to make the CPAP machine more comfortable for you?”

“I know it may take some getting used to, but my CPAP machine is essential for my health. I would really appreciate your support as I continue to use it.”

“I'm open to suggestions on how we can make sleeping with the CPAP machine more comfortable for both of us. Do you have any ideas?”

“I understand that sleeping with the CPAP machine can be an adjustment, but it's important for me to use it. Can we work together to find a solution that works for both of us?”

It's important to have open and honest communication with your bed partner about your sleep apnea treatment.  Approaching your bed partner with curiosity and a willingness to get creative can strengthen your bond and foster more authenticity and understanding in your relationship. 





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