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Sleeping with a CPAP Machine

By Expert Sleep Medicine on August 13, 2019 in Practice News

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s likely that you were recommended to use a CPAP machine for sleeping at home. A CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open. It is used for many patients with breathing problems, including but not limited to sleep apnea. 

A CPAP machine consists of a mask that fits to your nose/mouth and is held to your face with straps. A tube then connects the mask to the machine’s motor, the motor being used to blow air through the tube and into the mask, allowing you to breathe easier. It’s function-opening up airways- is a godsend for those with sleep apnea. It can also correct snoring. 

A good CPAP machine is typically quiet in addition to being small and lightweight. Some even have built in heated humidifiers! There are many types of CPAP machines, so ask your doctor about your options to find the one most suited to your needs. 

There are plenty of benefits to CPAPs, improving your overall quality of sleep among them, but it is possible you may have trouble adjusting to sleeping with the machine.

So, here’s some tips for how to get a good sleep with a CPAP:

Figure out if nasal treatments are an option

The first thing you ought to do is get nasal treatments, especially since fall allergy season is creeping up on Louisville. Suffering from a stuffy nose during sleep can make using a CPAP more difficult than it ought to be. Going to bed with a cleared nose will ensure a more peaceful rest. You can also use the heated humidifier, which keeps your nose from getting irritated throughout the night. 

Get the fit right.

Our second tip seems obvious, but is often a problem: Making sure it fits. You should be able to find a middle spot between the mask being a tight fit and a loose fit. Too tight, and the straps will put too much pressure on your cheeks. Too loose, and you won’t get the proper airway treatment. When you find the perfect medium, you’ll be able to wear the mask without the straps hurting or air leaking out. Also, make sure it’s not sitting too high on your face, either. 

Another tip urges you to go the extra mile:

Wearing your CPAP during the day. The more you get used to the feeling of the mask on your face, the easier it is to get a full night’s sleep with it on. You can take baby steps here: Holding it up to your face, without straps or a hose, can be a good starter. Then, using the hose. Then, putting the straps on. Gradually getting used to and dealing with each component of the machine can be a good exercise. Even putting the machine on for a small amount of time can help you. 

We here at Expert Sleep wish not only that you are treated for your sleep apnea, but that you are comfortable whilst doing so. Using a CPAP can be strange at first, certainly different from a regular night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be uncomfortable. By doing the right preparations, procedures, and practices, you’ll be able to get used to the feeling of your CPAP and get a better night’s sleep. 

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