So you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea and you have been told by your doctor that you have to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine in order to treat this condition.
This will be a bit of a change for your lifestyle and for your bedtime routine. You may feel embarrassed to have to wear this around your partner and you may feel like you’re that awkward kid with the braces in grade 7.
However, the bottom line is this: the machine, as un-glamourous as it may be, could actually help in saving your life, and all in all, it will make your quality of life tremendously better.
Here are 10 tips to make the transition easier for integrating the CPAP machine into your sleep routine:
- Think of it as a gift to your partner, who wants to sleep next to a loud snorer? This will help the snoring significantly.
- Learn everything you can about the machine so that it seems less intimidating.
- Choose the mask that’s right for YOU. There are many different types out there; it’s just about finding the right one.
- Keep the parts of the machine clean so that it works properly.
- Think about connecting with other sleep apnea sufferers who, like you, have to a CPAP machine each night. See if your doctor knows of any support groups or ways to connect with people going through the same thing as you.
- Think about making other lifestyle changes to make this easier, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. While it likely won’t cure the sleep apnea, it will make it much easier to deal with.
- Practice good sleep hygiene: avoid caffeine or large meals before bedtime, stick to a regular routine every night, and use the bed only for sleeping.
- Try to use earplugs to mask the sound of the machine so the noise doesn’t bother you.
- Use a humidifier to decrease dryness and skin irritation.
- Focus on the positive outcome of using the CPAP machine, and avoid thinking about the negative parts that may be prominent at this time. With time, you will get used to this and this will help you in the long run.