5 CPAP TipsGetting Used to Your CPAP Machine
by Dr. Scott Bolding
Even though CPAP therapy is the most common way to treat sleep apnea, it’s not always the easiest. It can often take patients a long time to get used to sleeping with the mask on their faces. This makes it hard to use it every night. In fact, studies have shown that only about 50% of CPAP patients use their machines long-term. This is a problem because sleep apnea can be dangerous if left untreated.
Of course, there are other treatment options to consider if you’re struggling with your CPAP. But, since it is so popular, it will help to get some tips for using your CPAP machine. These CPAP tips and tricks will make it easier for you to get used to your machine. The more you get used to it, the better you will breathe. And the better you breathe, the better you will sleep.
Getting Used to Your CPAP Machine Isn’t Easy
We know that getting used to a CPAP machine isn’t easy. A lot of patients find that the first few nights of using the CPAP can be especially tricky.
The most common thing that can be hard to get used to is wearing a mask on your face. Getting used to the CPAP mask is one of the reasons why so many people stop using their machines. It’s hard to go from sleeping normally to sleeping with something on your face.
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Other people have a hard time breathing with the pressurized air that comes from the machine.
No matter the reason, we want to help you get used to your CPAP machine. Take a look at the CPAP tips below and reach out to us if you have any questions.
CPAP Tips and Tricks
Practice Using Your CPAP
The most important tip for using a CPAP machine is to practice. Any new habit or routine takes time to get used to. And so the more you practice the quicker you will get used to your CPAP machine.
To practice getting used to your CPAP, start by wearing it long before you get ready for bed. Find some time either during the day or in the evening to sit with your CPAP on for a few minutes at a time.
Take this slow and let yourself ease into it. Start by putting the mask on without hooking it up or turning the machine on. Let it sit on your face and breathe slowly.
After you get used to the mask being on your face, take a break. Then, put the mask back on but this time, hook it up to the machine. Turn the machine on and let yourself get used to the pressure from the CPAP machine. The pressure should already be set from the prescription we gave you. Then, repeat the process. Let yourself sit with the air flowing for a few minutes. Breathe deep and slow.
You may need to do this for a few nights so you are more and more comfortable each time you go to bed. Eventually, your body will get used to your CPAP and how it feels.
Make Sure You Get the Right Mask
Another important CPAP tip is making sure you get the right mask. There are several different CPAP masks. They also come in different sizes. And not every CPAP mask will be right for each patient. You have a unique set of needs and require a CPAP that meets those needs.
We will help you choose the right mask when we prescribe it to you. It helps if we can get as much input from you as possible. Think about how the mask will fit physically, of course.
But we also need to think about how you sleep. Tell us about all of your sleeping habits so we can take that into consideration when ordering your mask.
Do you sleep on your side or on your back?
Do you breathe through your mouth?
Do you toss and turn a lot?
Knowing all of these things can help us get the right mask for you. Having the right mask helps you get used to your CPAP faster.
Of course, we want to get the right mask the first time. However, sometimes we think one will work best for you but you struggle to use it when you get it home. If that’s the case you just need to let us know so we can order a different one.
Don’t Skip Wearing it
You may not like this CPAP tip, but you need to make sure you don’t skip using your machine. Like with any new habit, getting used to your CPAP takes consistency. You’re never going to get used to your CPAP if you only use it once a week or every couple of days. You need to use it every time you sleep.
The more you wear it, the quicker you will get used to it. If you aren’t consistent, none of the other CPAP tips will be helpful.
Try Not to Nap at First
Another tip for getting used to your CPAP that you might not think of is avoiding naps at the beginning.
Of course, a nap here and there won’t hurt. But if you sleep too much during the day you won’t be very tired when you go to bed.
Instead of napping try to find some activities to do during the day to wear you out. The more tired you are at night, the easier it will be to fall asleep, even with your CPAP on.
Get Help If You Need It
Part of the reason people can’t get used to their CPAP machines is that they don’t have the support they need. You need both the support of your family and your medical team to make this successful.
Let your family know what you’re struggling with and what adjustments they can make to help you. Do they need to be a bit quieter when you go to bed? Is there something your spouse can do to make sharing your bed easier? Telling them these things will help you get what you need from them.
And if you’re having a hard time getting used to the CPAP, let us know. We want you to get the best sleep possible. If you’re CPAP is getting in the way of that, we want to know. That’s the only way we can help you. Ask us any questions and let us know what you’re struggling with. We want to help make things easier.
What If These CPAP Tips Don’t Work?
Of course, you may end up trying all of these tips for using your CPAP machine and still struggle. In this case, you may need to consider other treatment options.
Other treatment options for sleep apnea include:
- Oral appliances
Let us know if you think these other treatments would be better for you. Our goal is always to make sure you get the right treatment. Because the right treatment will help you get better sleep.
Living with CPAP: 7 tips for a better experience. (2020, May 22). Sleep Apnea. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from https://www.resmed.com/en-us/sleep-apnea/sleep-blog/living-with-cpap-7-tips-for-a-better-experience/
Goldman, S. (2022, July 7). Six Tips to CPAP Success. Comprehensive Sleep Care. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from https://comprehensivesleepcare.com/2020/06/30/six-tips-to-cpap-success/
Leamey, T. (2022, June 25). These 5 Tips Make Sleeping With a CPAP Machine Easy. CNET. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from https://www.cnet.com/health/sleep/these-5-tips-make-sleeping-with-a-cpap-machine-easy/
To Help You Get the Sleep You Deserve
We understand that trying to get used to a CPAP machine can be tricky. The mask is awkward. It takes a while to get used to breathing against pressurized air.
But with these CPAP tips and tricks, things will get better over time. You just need to stick with it and remember why you need it. It’s not just to breathe better at night. It’s to get the sleep you deserve so you can get back to your life.
And remember your PRECiDENT team is always here to help you if you need it.