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A CPAP machine keeps you breathing through the night, ensuring you get adequate and healthy sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you might recognize that it’s important to wear your CPAP mask, but it’s not such an attractive idea if you’re trying to put yourself out on the dating scene. Single women who are looking for a relationship can often struggle with their CPAP. You might be unsure about the right time to tell a potential partner about it, or you might even make an effort to hide it in the initial stages of dating. While snoring might not be sexy (and nor is stopping breathing in your sleep), CPAP machines aren’t exactly an improvement.

The National Sleep Foundation says that between 5 and 20 percent of the population in the US has a degree of sleep apnea. Although many people might think of it as a problem affecting mostly men, especially if they are overweight, people of all ages, weights and genders can experience sleep apnea. Single women who use CPAP machines can often feel shy about revealing that they use a CPAP machine.

Musician Gaelynn Lea says that as a 21-year-old with a CPAP machine, she felt too young for CPAP therapy and was nervous about bringing out the machine at the beginning of her relationship. The link between sleep and intimacy can make it difficult for many women to be open about having to use a piece of medical equipment when they go to bed. It also makes it more difficult to be spontaneous, requiring a little extra planning to manage things like one night stands, staying over at a partner’s home, or traveling.

Women can struggle to feel sexy when using a CPAP machine, but there are things you can do to still feel sexy when you use a CPAP. Firstly, there are lightweight devices that aren’t too bulky and can make you feel better about dating with CPAP. It’s also a good idea to remember that a CPAP mask is something you put on just before you go to sleep, so it doesn’t have to interrupt anything that you do before that. If you’re concerned about leaving your device out in your bedroom, you can always keep it shut away until you need to use it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while you might feel like CPAP isn’t sexy, it’s also not very sexy to snore or to feel tired all the time. Using your CPAP device as you’re meant to will give you more energy so you can be more present for your partner. If you’re someone who likes to cuddle in bed, you might want to make sure you face away from your partner, so the ports on your mask don’t exhale air onto them.

A CPAP machine might not be something that you tell someone about on the first date. However, if someone likes you, they will be happy to accept that it’s a medical device that you need. A CPAP doesn’t have to get in the way of sex or intimacy, even if it might require some adjustments in regards to sleep.