5 Tips For a Better CPAP Experience

Living with sleep apnea can make falling asleep and, more importantly, staying asleep a nightly struggle. Even using a CPAP machine can come with its own challenges. Some patients find the mask difficult to keep on while they sleep. Others struggle because their machine’s settings aren’t customized for them, or because there are features on the CPAP machine that they’re unaware of. 

At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we know that proper use of a CPAP machine can make a world of difference. To give our patients the best chance at a good night’s sleep, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top tips for CPAP success. 

Make Sure Your Mask is the Correct Size

If your CPAP mask doesn’t fit properly, it can make it difficult for you to breathe easily through the night. An ill-fitting mask can also result in a dry throat or a stuffy nose. If your mask is too tight, you may notice red marks on your face when you wake. However, if it’s too loose, you won’t receive the full benefits of your CPAP machine.

Finding the right fit may take some trial and error, as there’s a wide variety of mask shapes, sizes, and styles. However, once you’ve found the perfect mask, you can begin to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. 

Keep it Clean

Your CPAP can come into contact with any number of things between uses. Skin cells, bacteria, and moisture can interfere with CPAP machines or make them unsanitary to use, which is why it’s so important to keep your CPAP clean. A clean CPAP runs more smoothly and will help you avoid getting sick.

While purpose-made cleaning supplies are available, they aren’t necessary. Simply wash the pieces of your machine with warm water and mild soap before hanging them to dry during the day. 

Give It Some Time

Sleeping with a mask over your face can take some getting used to. If you’re feeling claustrophobic at night, it can be helpful to wear the mask around your house during the day. This isn’t something you’ll be used to the first night you bring it home, but remember that treating your sleep apnea is highly beneficial to your long-term health. 

Put the “Ramp” Feature to Use

Some people have difficulty falling asleep with the airflow from their CPAP machine at full force. Luckily, many CPAP machines have a “ramp” feature. This setting will slowly build the air pressure over time, so you won’t even notice the change in pressure as you drift to sleep. 

If you’re considering using this feature, talk with your doctor to determine the optimal air pressure levels for treating your sleep apnea.

Make Sure You Have The Right Machine

Just like masks can vary in size and shape, many CPAP machines are available as well. Shop around for CPAP machines to find one that has settings and features that will enable you to sleep in complete comfort. Talk with your doctor to discuss your needs and find the best machine for you. 

Find Relief From Your Sleep Apnea

At Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we want to make sure you’re getting the best care for your sleep apnea. If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, please talk to your primary care physician and contact us at (818) 300-0070 or by filling out our online contact form.