An obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis typically comes with your doctor’s instruction to start using a CPAP machine. And while it can be tough to sleep using a CPAP machine, there are ways to make it simpler and more comfortable.
Using a CPAP machine is supposed to allow you to get a better night’s sleep by helping you breathe better throughout the night. But how is that possible when you have a mask over your face, with a hose connecting you to a machine that makes noise constantly throughout the night?
Over 34% of patients prescribed a CPAP machine don’t use their device as intended. Some will only use their machine for part of the night, while others choose to avoid using it at all. Failing to use your CPAP machine as directed can compromise your quality of sleep and can affect your health. We want you to sleep well, so we’ve gathered some tips you can use to help make sleeping with a CPAP machine second nature.
Mask Style and Fit
Wearing the correct style mask that fits properly is essential for comfort throughout the night. No one wants to sleep with a mask that keeps moving throughout the night or a mask that leaves marks on their face. Luckily, masks come in various options that allow you to choose the mask that works best for you.
Choosing what style mask works best for you will depend highly on your sleep position. If you are a side or stomach sleeper, large masks may push against your pillow making it hard to get comfortable.
Here are some common mask styles for CPAP machines:
- Full-Face masks are what people typically picture when they think of CPAP masks. A full-face mask covers your mouth and nose. It’s a great option if you have nasal congestion or breathe through your mouth at night.
- Nasal masks only cover your nose, so if you move around a lot at night, this is a great option.
- Nasal pillow masks are the smallest face covering sitting across your nostrils and upper lip. If you wear glasses or if full coverage masks make you feel claustrophobic, a nasal pillow could work for you.
A mask that doesn’t fit properly will not only be uncomfortable but can result in a stuffy, dry nose. If your mask is too tight, it can leave marks on your face. But if your mask is too loose, you won’t reap the benefits of your CPAP machine.
You should adjust your mask each night until you get the perfect fit. When adjusting your mask, make sure to lie down with the mask on. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you still can’t get the proper fit. They will be able to help you make the necessary adjustments.
Practice Wearing Your Mask
Getting used to wearing a CPAP mask takes time. Waiting until you’re trying to fall asleep to get used to it isn’t a great idea. So try wearing it during the day to get used to having it on your face. Put it on to read a book, watch TV, or surf the web. The more often you wear your mask, the more natural it will feel, making it more comfortable to sleep in.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids! Research has shown that there are many benefits to creating and maintaining a bedtime routine. A routine will help you remember to use your CPAP machine and train your body and brain that it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. Making CPAP therapy a part of your nightly routine will help you adjust better, and you will come to recognize it as part of your relaxation process.
Taking a nap too late in the day can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep. But there are those days that you’re extra tired and need a nap. If you take a nap, try not to nap within three hours of bedtime, and make sure to use your CPAP machine. You should use it every time you sleep.
Clean Your Equipment
Clean equipment can go a long way to increase your comfort. Follow the instructions included with your machine to clean your mask, headgear, and tubing regularly. It can also help to run the machine for a few minutes before putting on your mask, so the air begins to cycle through.
Ready for a Great Night’s Sleep? Call DreamZz Sleep Center!
It’s important to remember to be patient. No one will immediately sleep uninterrupted throughout the night when they start using a CPAP machine. However, you’ll soon find that you will get more quality sleep and feel better using your CPAP machine.
DreamZz Sleep Center is your one-stop shop for all your sleep medicine needs. From your sleep study and diagnosis to your treatment options and supplies, we will be by your side to help you get a great night’s sleep.
Contact us today to get on your way to sleeping like a baby!