Having obstructive sleep apnea makes sleeping difficult, and though you might have a CPAP machine that helps you sleep better, there is more you can do to improve your sleep. Here are a few tips for falling asleep.
Put Away The Phone
We all have a tendency, an almost natural tick, to look at our phones during downtime. The longest time most of us take part in this activity is when we’re laying down to go to bed. Sadly scouring social media or reading Wikipedia on your phone is counterproductive to you falling asleep. This doesn’t exclusively apply to smartphones, but almost all technology. Televisions and phones are light sources and light sources act as stimulants—the same goes for audio like radio, music, or podcasts.
Keep your light exposure to a minimum and if you need noise to fall asleep, make sure it is nothing more than white noise, such as the whir of a fan. You can also use calm sounds such as a whale call to soothe you to sleep. Either way, keep stimulation to a minimum and try your best to make the process of falling asleep purely that, a time to close your eyes and fall asleep.
Avoid a Late Night Snack
What we eat has profound and varied effects on our daily lives and unsurprisingly this applies to sleep, too. Keep your last meal and sleep a few hours apart. If your stomach is still digesting its contents when you go to sleep then you might get heartburn or another acid-based symptom. It isn’t exactly easy to sleep with heartburn. So make sure to give yourself a few hours before your last meal and bedtime.
The type of food you eat for dinner also matters. Avoid anything full of sugar or caffeine—two ingredients that will keep you awake. There are some foods that can help you sleep. These foods include turkey, cherries, and pork chops. If you happen to make one of these foods your dinner, you will find that catching some shuteye is not too difficult after all.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness have become popular and effective ways to alter your state of mind, and what is sleeping other than another state of mind? There are plenty of soothing and relaxing meditations that are built to lull you into sleep. Apps like Insight Timer and Headspace have plenty of free meditations that can help you fall asleep. So set the volume to an audible, but not too loud level and let these calm meditations help you relax before heading to bed.
Softer yoga routines are also something you can consider to help you fall asleep. Soft, but meaningful movements allow the muscles throughout your body to relax and can help get your body ready for a night’s rest. Search for yoga routines meant for sleep and you’ll find a plethora of material to help you out.
Set a Sleep Schedule
You might have heard of the term “circadian rhythm” when hearing anything about sleep. The circadian rhythm is an interesting bodily mechanism that serves as your internal twenty-four-hour clock. This clock determines your state of sleepiness and readiness, but only works properly when engaged in routine. Routine is key in order to give yourself the best night of sleep and ensure you fall asleep promptly.
Make sure you fall asleep and wake up at around the same time every day, aligning your circadian rhythm and therefore, aligning your state of sleepiness and awakeness. Keeping your sleeping and waking times consistent can be hard to do, especially during the weekend when all you want to do is sleep in. But if it’s about feeling well-rested in the morning, then you may want to consider trying to stick to consistency.
Use the “4-7-8” Breathing Method
According to Healthline, the “4-7-8” method is a simple breathing exercise that promotes calmness and relaxation. Both of which help you to fall asleep.
Here are the steps:
- Place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth and make a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to four.
- Hold your breath and mentally count to seven.
- Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a whoosh sound and mentally counting to eight.
- Repeat this cycle at least three more times.
This technique can help you fall asleep quickly, especially if you are wearing a CPAP mask.
Avoid Sickness, Keep your CPAP Clean
Sickness, infections, and illness can keep you from proper sleep. We do a lot to avoid contracting an illness in our lives, but users of CPAP machines need to go the extra mile when it comes to their prescribed device. CPAP machines can build up bacteria over time. These things can irritate or even wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Getting sick will ruin your quality of sleep and create problems for falling asleep in the future. This is why the most important tip for falling asleep with a CPAP is to regularly clean your CPAP machine.
There are a few ways to clean your CPAP machine but none are as effective as Lumin’s CPAP cleaner. Using UV light, Lumin’s CPAP cleaner can get rid of up to 99.9% of bacteria, keeping your CPAP machine as clean as the first day you got it.