Are you concerned about your sleep? Has your significant other or spouse complained about your snoring and informed you that you seem to stop breathing when you sleep? Are you finding yourself tired during the workday? I had these concerns and my doctor diagnosed me with sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. Many lead normal, productive lives through the use of a CPAP.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy uses a machine to help people, like me, with sleep apnea breathe more easily. Sleeping with a machine, in a mask, can seem weird and even uncomfortable at first but below I will provide some tips that have helped me along the way.
1. Start Slow. Do not just jump into this blindly. You have to build up to using this device, which will be a necessary part of your life moving forward. One of the ways I broke in my device in was by wearing my CPAP while binge watching my favourite shows. This helped me figure out how to adjust it and reach a comfortable place.
2. Remember to communicate. I am a firm believer in there being no such thing as a stupid question. My spouse was worried about if she could sleep in the bed with me and together we talked to our doctor. The doctor also spoke with me about nasal drops for congestion issues I developed while wearing my CPAP. Keep the lines of communication open!
3. Develop a routine. This is the most important tip! When things are a routine, they become second nature to us. Developing a routine helped me not only to relax when using my CPAP but also to ensure I stayed compliant in using it.
As a CPAP veteran, I hope you find tips from my CPAP journey helpful. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be alarming but with the proper treatment you can achieve a good night’s sleep.