Getting used to CPAP

Getting used to CPAP

Breathing is a natural body function that most of us take for granted. During the day, when we breathe in, air flows through our nose or mouth, continues to the back of our throat and then descends into the lungs. But what happens during the night? Well, for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, this process is disrupted during sleep.

Despite efforts to breathe, airway blockage prevents air from reaching the lungs during a sleep apnea event. Surprisingly, this can occur up to several hundred times a night (!) and may last between several seconds to over one minute each time, often without a person even being aware of waking up. All this means that even after getting sufficient sleep, one might often feel tired, unrefreshed and struggle to concentrate throughout the day.

Unable to sleep? The treatment that has proven most effective for sleep apnea is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy—which is required in order to maintain healthy and regular breathing throughout the night. CPAP therapy uses a machine that creates a pressurized airflow that keeps the windpipe open during sleep, and prevents apnea events.

Getting used to CPAP therapy

Sleeping with a CPAP device can be challenging. Most people struggle to adapt to their machine and experience difficulties sleeping with their mask on throughout the night. Due to continuous air flow which might feel unnatural at first, they usually have trouble entering a relaxing state of mind that encourages sleep. Add that general discomfort, possible noise and other things that may disrupt sleep, and you have a complete recipe for restless nights, or unrefreshing sleep.

The first thing to keep in mind while attempting to adapt to CPAP therapy is patientce. Going to sleep with a mask on your face might take some time getting used to, so as part of any other lifestyle change, practice and persistence are key elements in succeeding to adjust to your device.

Slowly but surely

Getting into bed and trying to fall asleep with your CPAP device on the first try is probably not the best idea. To prevent anxiety that may rise, try wearing your mask while awake first, and during the day.  Do it without connecting it to your CPAP device, and preferably outside the bedroom. Start wearing it for 1 minute and gradually increase the time with your mask on, according to how comfortable you feel.
Next, connect the mask to your device and repeat the steps before. Only when you feel comfortable enough, try taking a nap with the mask on and the device activated. Choose a time when you feel very sleepy and allow yourself to drift-off. Don’t worry if you don’t fall asleep on the first attempt, just try to relax and be in a calm state.

Finally, when you feel ready, go to bed with the device activated for 30 minutes. To ease your struggle and take your mind off negative thoughts, try falling asleep while listening to relaxing music.

We know that getting used to CPAP therapy can be hard and even intimidating at first. Dayzz sleep app constantly guides you on how to improve sleep, and was created with the notion that this process relies on continuous practice and support in order to help you reach your goals. Get step-by-step guidance and valuable CPAP usage tips to gradually get used to your device, on your way to more restful nights. Start with getting a quick, personal sleep assessment!

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