Will CPAP’s Noise Keep My Spouse Awake?

“My spouse already has sleep difficulties, Will my CPAP machine make her insomnia worse?” I reassure such patients that all the new models of CPAP devices are almost silent producing only 24 to 29 decibels.

How loud is 29 decibels? Here is a list of common noises and their decibel levels:

Normal conversation (60)
Refrigerator humming (40)
Whisper at 6 feet (29)
Whisper (20)
Calm breathing (10)

I further explain that most spouses find the soft, continuous, humming noise beneficial in helping them fall asleep, just like white noise would. 

Some wives have also shared with me that they sleep soundly knowing that CPAP is taking care of those dangerous episodes of cessation of respirations. They prefer this soft hum over stentorian snoring as the former represents continued breathing.

If you find a device’s noise is bothersome, first check to make sure the CPAP’s air filter is clean and unblocked.

If this doesn’t help, have your CPAP supplier check the device to ensure it’s working properly.

Also make sure that the CPAP mask is fitting properly as a large air leak from an ill-fitting mask can exacerbate the noise.

If the noise is still bothersome, try earplugs or a white noise sound machine to mask the noise.

Go through above checklist diligently.

Please continue to use CPAP as untreated sleep apnea affects your quality of life besides increasing your risk of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and drowsy driving.