Sleep Apnea is a medical condition where sleep is repeatedly interrupted by apnea or hypopnea episodes. Apnea means "without breath" and is clinically defined as a period of at least ten seconds when you stop breathing. Hypopnea is defined as slow or shallow breathing, which often results in a drop in oxygen levels. The most common way to treat sleep apnea is with Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (PAP).
If you're a CPAP patient, then you know the struggle of falling asleep while using your CPAP device. It's especially hard when you're first starting out in sleep therapy. That’s why we asked our AeroCare Clinicians for some tips on what you can do to get a better night’s sleep on CPAP.
- Spend time on the CPAP during waking hours to get comfortable with it before trying to go to sleep.
- Wear the mask, without the CPAP, for periods of time during the day to get comfortable with the mask. Particularly if the mask seems to be the most intimidating aspect of the therapy.
- Use the "self-tracking" data monitoring options offered by the CPAP manufacturers (myAir, DreamMapper, etc.). They are very helpful as coaching tools to improve the outcomes of the therapy.
- If you get dry mouth while using CPAP, then increasing the humidifier settings on your machine will add more moisture to the air and can help with dry nose and mouth. Also, using a water-based gel can also help with any drying.
- Be patient. The first few weeks of sleep therapy is an adjustment period. Once you get used to the therapy you will begin feeling better and more well rested during the day.
PAP therapy can make you feel like a new person - refreshed and revitalized. Don't give up on PAP therapy after a day because it feels uncomfortable. All new things feel uncomfortable at first, until you become adjusted.