Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important not just for your health but because it also helps you feel good. When you sleep soundly it makes your body and brain function properly. Some lucky people have no problem falling asleep; as soon as they hit the bed it’s lights out. However, this is not the case for people who wear CPAP masks; many people who have sleep apnea, even with the mask, can have difficulty falling and staying asleep throughout the night. This could lead to negative effects on many parts of your body and brain, including learning, memory, mood, emotions and various biological functions.
Getting used to CPAP is different for everyone. Some people take to their therapy right away while others need more time to get comfortable. It is important to become familiar with your mask and feel comfortable wearing it.
Here are some more tips for falling asleep with a CPAP, and staying asleep.
Tips for Falling Asleep with a CPAP
Despite whether you wear a CPAP mask or not, many of the things that help aid in sleep are universal.
If you aren’t wearing a mask, these tips can be helpful for you, too.
Ease Yourself Into Using a CPAP
A good way to get used to your CPAP mask and equipment is to try and use your CPAP therapy equipment for a few short periods during the day. You can wear your CPAP mask when you are watching Netflix or reading a book. This is a great way to get settled and used to your mask. You can also tell if your mask needs adjustments which could otherwise have hindered your sleep.
Make Your CPAP Mask Comfortable
The most common problem for a CPAP patient is a poor fitting mask. If the mask is not fitting well you may not be able to go to sleep, which is not a good thing. It defeats the purpose of the mask itself. This is why it’s essential that you test your mask and find the right fit for you.
To learn more about finding the best CPAP mask for better sleep, check out our CPAP Masks blog post.
Lower the Room Temperature
If your room is too warm, you might have a hard time falling asleep. As you fall asleep, your body temperature changes, your core temperature decreases, while the temperature of your hands and feet increases. To offset this try setting your thermostat to a cool temperature, typically between 60–75°F, could help.
Get on a Routine Sleep Schedule
You may find that setting a sleep schedule will help you fall asleep and wake up easier.
Your body has its own internal clock called the circadian rhythm. This cues your body to feel alert during the day but sleepy at night. When you don’t have a set schedule, like going to bed really late on weekends, it may cause your internal clock to get out of synch.
However, if you wake up and go to bed around the same time each day, including weekends, it’ll help your internal clock keep a regular schedule. Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it will be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day.
Don’t Stay In The Dark All Day
One thing that can influence your internal clock and mess up your schedule is light. This is because during the day when you go outside and experience the sunshine the bright light tells your body to stay alert.
At night, the darkness stimulates feelings of sleepiness. In fact, research shows that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that the body produces for sleep.
So make sure that you go out and bask in the sunlight or artificial bright light throughout the day. If you have an early bedtime, before the sun goes down, use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night.
Additional Tips For Falling Asleep with a CPAP
If those tips don’t work for you or don’t sound appealing here are a few more that you can try:
- Improve your sleeping environment
- Avoid naps during the day
- Listen to relaxing music
- Exercise during the day
- Get a comfortable bed
- Turn off all electronics
- Try aromatherapy
- Limit caffeine and drink a soothing beverage
- Read something but avoid reading an e-book
- Focus on trying to stay awake
- Try sleep-enhancing supplements
- Get up and do something for 10 minutes
- Take a warm shower before bed
- Wear socks to bed
- Immerse your face in very cold water for 30 seconds
- Keep lights turned off
Struggling To Fall Asleep Because of Sleep Apnea
Since you use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, you also need to regularly clean it. If you’re using the CPAP to treat one health issue, sleep apnea, you don’t want to create more health issues by using a dirty CPAP.
The Lumin CPAP Cleaner is safe and easy to use, with no harmful ozone which can cause irritation to the lungs and respiratory system. The UV light will sanitize up to 99% of harmful bacteria, pathogens, and fungi that can cause infection and illness.