Sleeping with CPAP

Needing sleep apnea machines, or CPAP, to improve your sleep is a great solution, but what about the reality of the situation? With a mask, tubes, and straps, will you actually get a good night’s sleep?

As the saying goes: try it, you’ll like it! Of course, using CPAP will take some getting used to. That starts with the actual gear you need. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing for short moments, possibly up to 30 times every hour. This happens because your airways close or are blocked. Your CPAP machine uses gentle pressure to push air through, keeping your airways open. This requires a machine that contains a pump that regulates the air flow, and a tube to carry that air from the machine to a mask that you wear over or mouth and/or nose. Straps keep everything in place.

Obviously, wearing a mask over your face with straps to secure it does not, at first glance, seem like a great way to get a good night’s sleep. But there are different designs, such as a nasal mask or a full mouth-and-nasal mask, which can provide the right fit for you. Try out the different options to see which one is more comfortable. You may need several tries and fittings to find the one that works for your specific needs. Ask your doctor and sleep specialist for tips and strategies to help you adjust.

Then there is the machine itself. Earlier sleep apnea machines were large and noisy; perhaps you have this image you have in mind. But as technology advances, so do the designs of sleep apnea machines. They have become smaller and quieter, making sleep easier to achieve.

To push the air through, your CPAP machine may have different pressure settings. You can ask your doctor to adjust the settings to find the appropriate level for both your comfort and sleep.

Finally, if you find that your CPAP machine is drying out your nose and mouth, ask about a humidifier for your machine, or one that even heats the air to make it moist.

Everyone knows the benefits of a great night’s sleep, but some people need extra help getting that. By using your CPAP machine correctly and making the necessary adjustments, you too can enjoy some sweet slumber.

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