Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is the first line of treatment for sleep apnea. A machine that sends airflow through a mask and prevents your throat muscles from relaxing completely while you sleep can help solve issues for sleep apnea sufferers.
However, many people give up on treatment quickly due to problems getting accustomed to wearing their CPAP at night. At SLENT, with locations in Mandeville, Slidell, and Hammond, Louisiana, our otolaryngology specialists can help you adjust to wearing your CPAP machine and overcoming sleep apnea.
Getting accustomed to a CPAP machine can be challenging. In fact, even though their sleep and lives are significantly improved by CPAP machines, 20% of people stop using theirs within five years of starting. Here are some tips for getting used to your machine and learning to sleep soundly.
Wear your CPAP mask during the day, for 30 minutes or so at a time, while doing something quiet like reading. Then try it during a daytime nap. Gradually extend the period of time you wear it, and build up to putting it on shortly before you go to bed and reading until you get drowsy. Normalizing wearing the mask can get your body used to the idea and make it feel more natural, instead of abruptly introducing it to your bedtime routine.
Don’t wait to set up your CPAP machine and equipment until right before bedtime. By then you’re tired, and messing with equipment can feel like too much of a chore. Make sure everything is ready to go during the day, so you can slip your mask on, turn on the machine, and slide between the sheets comfortably when you’re tired.
If your mouth opens while you sleep, you can get a dry mouth. Wearing a chin strap can help, and don’t worry: if your nose gets congested in the night, you’ll wake up quickly and can address the issue then.
Finally, don’t expect too much the first week or even the first month. Most people take some time to get used to wearing a CPAP machine, and you may need to experiment with air flow or set the machine to slowly ramp up as you fall asleep to be comfortable.
Having trouble with your CPAP machine? Don’t give up. Call our nearest location, or book a consultation online today for assistance learning to live with CPAP at night.