CPAP Therapy

9 Tips and Tricks for a More Comfortable CPAP Sleep

Tips for Increasing CPAP Comfort

Crisp leaves, shorter days, cooler temps, can only mean one thing: Fall is in the air.

And, speaking of fall, we want you to fall in love with your CPAP machine and therapy. Corny?—Maybe a little, but when it comes to your sleep, we mean business. CPAP therapy may require a little adjustment period to find exactly what is comfortable for you. Building a CPAP therapy plan takes time, effort, and patience. But once you get the hang of it, it can literally change your sleep and your life.

So we want to help you get comfortable with your CPAP machine. Here are nine tips and tricks for a more comfortable CPAP sleep:

Mask Comfort

  1. Wear it during the day. You read that right! Get used to wearing it while you’re awake so it’s more natural to wear while you sleep. Wear it while watching T.V. or surfing the Internet. Wear it while reading a book before going to bed. Basically, the more often you wear it, the more natural it will feel, and the more comfortable it will become.
  2. Believe it will improve your sleep. Being positive—and really believing it will make a big difference—will go a long way when it comes to successful CPAP therapy. Remember why you are doing it—for better rest and rejuvenation! Also, if it helps, try adding a few relaxation exercises to your nighttime routine before putting on your mask. Try relaxing your muscles, practicing deep breathing, and reducing your anxiety. When it comes to CPAP therapy, your mind can either be your greatest friend or biggest foe. We want to help you believe in what you’re doing.
  3. Take your mask to your doctor or to a medical equipment provider and ask for help. Tired of waking up with a few pesky red marks on your face? Or are you struggling to keep your mask in place during the night? Be sure your mask is properly fitted for you. Your CPAP mask is not one-size-fits-all. It should fit you comfortably. In addition to researching which mask best fits your needs, you can also reach out to your doctor or a medical equipment provider and ask to get your mask properly fitted. Also, when adjusting your mask, be sure you’re lying down as that can change how your mask fits. 

Patient Compliance

  1. Use your CPAP machine every night. We know you want good sleep, and we want to help you get it. The key to successful, comfortable CPAP sleep is consistency. The more comfortable you are with your mask, the more likely you are to wear it. Try giving yourself a reward each week you successfully sleep with your CPAP mask on. Celebrate all the victories when it comes to your CPAP therapy!
  2. Build and maintain a regular nightly routine. Research shows that a nighttime routine has many health benefits. Not only will a routine help ensure you don’t forget about your CPAP therapy, but it will also train your brain and body that it’s time to unwind and go to sleep. Rebecca Scott, a research assistant professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center explained it this way, “Our sleep system, along with most other neurophysiological systems, likes predictability and consistency.” If you make your CPAP therapy a part of your nightly routine, not only will you adjust to it better, but it will also be included as part of your relaxation and rejuvenation process.
  3. Be sparing with your naps in the evening. If at all possible, be sure to stay awake within three hours of going to bed for the night. No doubt you’re tired, but taking a nap too late in the day can actually start to interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep. If and when you do take a nap during the day—because sometimes we all need one—be sure to use your CPAP machine. CPAP therapy exists for any and every time you go to sleep. (Plus, using your CPAP machine will only improve the quality of your nap!)

Ease of Use

  1. Use a simple saline spray or decongestant. If you’re having a little nasal discomfort, talk to your doctor and try a simple spray or decongestant for relief. If, on the other hand, you are experiencing dry nose, throat, or mouth, try using a humidifier. Many of the new CPAP machines include a heated humidifier, which can be very helpful in improving your therapy. 
  2. Use a special pillow that is specifically shaped for your CPAP mask and tubing. The right pillow to pair with your CPAP mask is out there. Use a pillow designed to support your CPAP therapy and hopefully make for a more comfortable sleep.
  3. Clean your equipment. Follow the instructions on how to clean your mask, headgear, and tubing as specified by your machine. Another helpful hint is to let the machine run for a few minutes before putting on your mask. This will allow the air to cycle through. Cleaning your CPAP equipment can go a long way in increasing your comfort.

Here’s the great news: Now that you’re using CPAP therapy, you’re on your way to a better night’s sleep. And we’re here to help and encourage you along the way. With the right tools, you can start getting a good night’s sleep tonight! 

6 Comments

  1. Jack Spaanderman Reply

    after 2 hrs of using the nasal pillow and going to sleep, my cpap machine starts to pump full top pressure, resulting in me waking up. then I remove the nasal pillow and the pump will not turn off.
    could someone advise me, please

    • Hi Jack, it sounds like you are experiencing a mask leak. Please ensure that you are using the correct size nasal pillow. When your machine senses a leak, it blows more pressure to compensate for the leak.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great day!

  2. I am sure many people can not sleep without a CPAP machine but in my experience they are not that effective.
    Having used CPAP machines for 6 years I have yet to get used to them.
    Hard mask reacted badly with my skin and caused deep seated rashes to my cheek and nose.
    ‘Soft masks’ have very sharp and unforgiving plastic elements that wake me up several times a night. I have damage to my front teeth, eyes and nose.
    In order to avoid leaks the straps have to be so tight I wake with no feeling in my top lip. Even h I have to sleep with my head sandwiched between two pillows to persuade the machine to register an acceptable mask fit.
    I try to use the mask every night but sometimes I need to sleep without waking in pain.
    My latest visit to the technical department to check my machine has resulted in the pressure setting being so high I am unable to breath through my nose as air through my mouth blacks nasal breathing.
    I hate my CPAP.
    Many people have similar experiences but withdrawal of driving licences are used to cajole compliance.

    • Hi Jeff, i’m sorry to hear about the tough time that your having with your CPAP therapy. Having a good, comfortable mask fit is key to successful therapy. It has been my experience that for a lot of CPAP users, it takes switching masks many times before they are able to feel any benefit from their therapy.

      We would be happy to speak with you to recommend a mask that may work well for you. Also, CPAP.com sells all of our complete mask with free 30 day returns. If you purchase a mask from us and find yourself unhappy with it for any reason, simply return the mask for a refund, or a different mask. Keep in mind that we do require a valid prescription in order for any complete mask to be purchased.

      If you feel your pressure is too high and keeping you from breathing properly, please speak with your doctor, as a lower pressure setting may be required.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  3. Carol
    Can you explain why we need a prescription to purchased a new cpap mask, it seems odd since the machine is the therapy not the mask? I don’t see alot of non-cpap users spending money on cpap mask.

    Grace

    • Hi Grace, I agree with you, but per the FDA guidelines, anytime a customer purchases a complete mask, humidifier, machine, provent and some heated hoses, we are required to have a valid prescription on file.

      If you purchase a replacement cushion, headgear only, filters, a standard hose and some other supplies, a prescription isn’t required.

      My apologies for any inconvenience that the prescription requirement causes you. If you have an older prescription with no expiration date, it would be acceptable. Also, keep in mind that your prescription doesn’t have to come from a Sleep Specialist. Your Primary Care Physician, a different doctor, or even your dentist can write a prescription for you.

      Also, if you would like for us to request a prescription from your doctor on your behalf, we offer this option as a free service to you!

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great weekend!

Write A Comment