Even with the best cpap machine, most people find it difficult to get started. The mask may be uncomfortable, the sensation of the pressurized air can be unsettling, and on some machines, noise from the device can be bothersome.
It’s normal for there to be an adjustment period before you are accustomed to and sleeping comfortably while using a CPAP. Several tips can help you get used to your CPAP.
- Expect it to take at least a few nights to adjust. Don’t give up or despair if you find the mask annoying or bothersome. You may even have a hard time sleeping at first, but you’ll get used to the CPAP faster by sticking with it. Over time, your sleep should improve.
- Budget extra time to get set up before bed. As you’re getting started with the CPAP device, it’s helpful to allot a bit of extra time before bed to fill the humidifier, get the mask on correctly, and position yourself comfortably.
- Practice wearing the mask and breathing with it on. To help get used to the mask, you can wear it without turning the machine on and practice breathing without any air coming through.
- Use the CPAP anytime you sleep. Most people think mostly about nighttime, but it’s best to wear the CPAP for any daytime naps as well.
- Consider using the Ramp function. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep because of the pressure, try using the Ramp function to have it kick in more gradually.
- Utilize relaxation exercises. Some people get anxious or claustrophobic when wearing a CPAP mask, and relaxation techniques can help put your mind at ease. Many of these steps for relaxation also help to fall asleep more easily.
- Wash your face before putting on the mask. Keeping your face clean can help create a good seal and reduce the potential for irritation during the night.
Another part of getting used to the CPAP is remembering to communicate with your doctor or sleep technician. If your mask isn’t comfortable, there is often another option to try that has a different size, shape, or type of cushioning. Similarly, if the pressure doesn’t seem right, your health care team can determine whether any adjustments are needed.
When you first open your CPAP, write down the brand, model, and serial number. Keep that information with the owner’s manual. In the same place, jot down the phone number for your sleep technician, the CPAP manufacturer, and, if applicable, the local service provider who delivered your machine. These steps will simplify the process if you have any technical problems in the future.
In order to keep your CPAP working in top shape, you’ll want to keep your mask, hose, and humidifier clean. Establishing a routine for frequent cleaning allows you to avoid buildup of dirt, bacteria, or other contaminants.