Did you recently purchase a CPAP machine? Are you having a hard time adjusting to the device when sleeping?
There are around 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. But thanks to CPAP, people can address the problem. They can enjoy a better quality of life.
But sleeping with CPAP is a struggle for most sleep apnea patients.
So don’t be too hard on yourself. Fortunately, there are ways to help improve your sleep.
The key is learning some secrets to falling asleep faster with your new machine. Continue reading below as we discuss five valuable tips that will get you sleeping faster with your CPAP beside you.
5 Valuable Tips for Sleeping with CPAP
If you think using your CPAP is as simple as wearing that mask, then you better think again. Your body and your breathing need to adjust accordingly to the new device. Just like taking new medicines for the very first time, your body requires some acclimation. Here are five valuable tips that will help you start your CPAP experience on the right track.
1. Start with Short Periods
When using your CPAP for the first few times, start with a few short periods. Do this during the day while you are awake. Wear your mask while reading a book or watching television.
If you are going on a vacation over the weekend, bring your CPAP machine with you. Wear it when taking naps.
Start with 15 minutes per wearing. Gradually increase to 30 minutes as the days go by. This is part of what we call CPAP desensitization.
There is no strict rule when it comes to CPAP desensitization. Be patient and don’t rush yourself. Find your groove until you feel comfortable with the minutes.
2. Wear the Right Mask
Another helpful tip that you need to consider at all cost is wearing the right mask. A mask that is too small will likely leak on the edges.
On the other hand, a mask that is too big will require you to pull the straps tightly. The problem with this is it will likely cost some discomfort on your face.
When trying your CPAP mask for the first few times, stand in front of the mirror and make the necessary adjustments. Pull the straps until you reach a comfortable tightness level.
Don’t forget to consider the type of breather that you are. If you prefer breathing through the nose, go for a nasal mask. If you are a mouth breather, invest in a full face mask.
There are other CPAP accessories that can help make you feel comfortable. These items range from creams, mask liners, and custom straps, to name a few.
If you still feel uncomfortable after making the necessary adjustments, then you should consider replacing your mask altogether. Consult with your CPAP provider in regards to the type of mask that will best suit you.
3. Improve Your Sleeping Lifestyle
Another crucial tip that will go a long way is to improve your sleeping lifestyle. Are you a coffee lover? Avoid caffeine when it’s close to your bedtime. The same thing goes for alcohol.
You can also start working out for 30 minutes for three to four times a day. If you plan to exercise at night, schedule it wisely. Make sure you exercise three hours before going to sleep at the very least.
If you sleep around 9 PM, your last meal should be around 7 PM the latest. This will keep you from having stomach cramps and heartburn.
You need to learn how to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, then it’s time to go to sleep. If it’s already late and you still don’t feel sleepy, try to relax consciously.
Grab your favorite book and read a chapter or two. You can also meditate to help clear your mind.
Don’t engage in any stressful conversations before going to bed. Stress promotes that release of the hormone cortisol. The hormone will only keep you alert instead of relaxed.
4. Mind Your Bedroom
Improving your sleeping lifestyle is one thing, improving your bedroom is another one. Optimize your bed by dimming the lights. Keep it free from distractions by maintaining a quiet environment.
Do you have a habit of sleeping with your mobile phone on your bedside? Cut that habit and place your device away from an arm’s reach.
Before going to bed, make sure to take out all the clutter. Seeing your room in a mess may give you an uptight feeling.
As for your room’s temperature, set it somewhere between 16 and 20°C. If you do not have an air conditioner, a stand fan will do.
If you have flowers blossoming nearby, you may want to move them farther. Studies show that about 59% of people have nasal allergies have a hard time sleeping.
How is your bed? Invest in supportive soft pillows. Buy a new mattress if it’s no longer comfortable on your back. If you sleep on your side, invest in a special pillow that works even while you wear your CPAP mask.
Check out our guide on CPAP pillows before purchasing one.
5. Clean Your CPAP Regularly
Lastly, you need to make sure that your CPAP machine is clean. Go through the key components of your CPAP equipment. Clean the mask and headgear once a week.
Skin cells, allergens, dust, and bacteria can accumulate on your mask. For starters, use a simple solution of warm water and soap. Simply hang the items to dry.
For best results, invest in a CPAP cleaner that effectively kills germs and bacteria.
Keep You CPAP in Excellent Condition, Today!
Now that you have the knowledge to improve your sleeping with CPAP, you need to keep your machine in excellent working condition. Investing in a CPAP cleaner is a wise move to make. But choosing the best ones may cause confusion on your part.
Check out our CPAP cleaner buying guide to get an idea on what to look for. We discuss some of the best options for you to consider.