After weeks and months of sleepless nights and groggy days, the diagnosis of a sleep disorder may be a cause for celebration. Finally, an explanation and a treatment! The good news? You’re one sleep closer to an uninterrupted night of rest. The iffy news? You’re welcoming a CPAP mask as a new bed buddy.
This sleep aid, which prevents airway collapse with pressurized airflow, can boost your quality of sleep from its first use. However, it may be a learning curve for some to feel fully comfortable using the apparatus. Follow these tips to hurdle some of the biggest roadblocks to CPAP use:
Feeling claustrophobic: If you’re new to CPAP, you’re probably new to sleeping with a covered face. There are several types of masks to explore in order to find the best comfort for you. Ease into the mask by wearing it around the house while doing chores, watching TV, or reading. Once you’re familiar with the feeling, try napping with the mask to work your way up to a full night’s sleep. Baby steps will help you acclimate to the mask, tube, and machine that make up your new CPAP.
Tangling up in tubes: The air hose connecting your mask to your machine may cause sleep disruption as you turn over. To combat this, look into purchasing a pillow specifically designed for CPAP users. Sporting cutouts on either side of the pillow for the tube to rest as well as a tube tether to lock it in place and out of your way, these pillows work with your device to help you sleep soundly.
Forced air: Exhaling against pressurized incoming air is a strange sensation for those new to CPAP therapy. Thankfully, new machines sport a “ramp” feature to ease the transition. It gradually increases pressure to your doctor-prescribed setting as you fall asleep, allowing you to sleep with less disturbance. Ask your respiratory therapist to demonstrate if you’re having difficulty accessing this feature on your own.
Waking up with a stuffy or dry nose: Newer CPAP machines are equipped with humidifiers when prescribed to fight airway irritations. Double check your manual and adjust settings as needed to find the right level of humidity for you. Additionally, a dry nose may indicate an air leak from an ill fit, so play around with positioning to find the most secure suction. If dry nose is still an issue, nasal sprays (both over the counter and prescription) before bedtime can clear the issue and your airways.
You’re so close to achieving the sleep you wish you could be dreaming about! Give us a call at 410-288-8969 or visit our online catalog to find the CPAP mask and accessories that can get you there.
4 Steps to Better Sleep for New CPAP Users,