Pro-Tips For New CPAP Users
Congratulations - you got yourself a CPAP machine! You’re on the road to more restful sleep and more energy to take on your days. Even with the best CPAP equipment, clinical assistance, set up, and education, there is a learning curve for CPAP therapy. Some people need a bit of time to get comfortable with the sensation of pressurized air. Who are we kidding, it’s weird. This challenge is normal, and you shouldn’t feel discouraged.
Here are several tips to help you ease your way into therapy:
Practice wearing your CPAP mask, even when it's not bedtime. Put on your therapy while watching TV or reading a book. Adjusting to a CPAP mask is one of the hardest things to do when starting CPAP. This allows you to overcome the initial unsettling claustrophobic feeling. Like a new pair of skates, sometimes you must let your feet adjust to them before you can hit the ice.
Commit to therapy every single day. It’s okay if you cannot get through an entire night at first. In the beginning, a lot of people wake up to find their masks on the floor. Even if you stop therapy halfway through the night, each night you'll have it on longer and it will become normal to you. Over time, you'll get used to the pressurized air and increase the success of CPAP therapy.
Try the Ramp Function. CPAP Machines have a ‘Ramp’ setting that starts with lower pressure and gradually increases it while you sleep, to help you fall asleep more naturally.
Establish a regular cleaning routine. If you do not clean your CPAP gear daily, you may expose yourself to unwanted bacteria and germs that can grow in a warm and moist environment (like the mask or hose). Only use CPAP wipes on your CPAP mask, rinse out the water chamber and tubing, and set aside to air dry.
Keep an open dialogue with your CPAP clinician. They are an excellent resource for tips and tricks to help you get accustomed to therapy. In most cases, issues that do arise in the first few weeks resolve themselves with ongoing usage.
Remember, consistency is key to your success! After several months, you will have adjusted fully and begun to reap the benefits of CPAP therapy. You'll notice you have more energy, snore less, and feel better overall. Good luck and sweet dreams!
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