The benefits of CPAP for sleep apnea are well-documented and include better sleep, fewer snoring episodes, and improved overall health. Research shows that CPAP machines are incredibly effective in treating sleep apnea, and it is often the first line of defense against the condition. If you don't experience sleep apnea during the night, you'll be able to sleep through the night. However, if you move a lot while you sleep, you may find that a full face mask will hold better on your face.
You may have removed your mask while you were sleeping because you were uncomfortable. Consider trying a different type of mask that fits you better. The doctor will determine the pressure settings you need and these can be programmed on the machine. Some machines come with features like “ramp”, which you can start at a lower setting and gradually increase to keep you more comfortable.
Many people prefer this because it gives them the opportunity to fall asleep before reaching maximum pressure. If you struggle to tolerate forced air or struggle to fall asleep, starting with a lower pressure setting can help. Expiratory pressure relief (also known as CFLEX) is another optional adjustment that can increase your comfort. While most CPAP machines deliver airflow at a constant pressure rate, expiratory pressure relief reduces pressure as you exhale, helping to relieve a feeling of lack of air.
Most machines will reduce pressure by 1, 2, or 3 settings during exhalation, making it easier to release your breath. Some even have advanced features that adjust automatically based on each user's breathing cycles. If expiratory pressure relief doesn't help, talk to your doctor about switching to a machine that automatically and consistently adjusts your pressure while you sleep. Learning to sleep on your side can also help lessen some of the symptoms of sleep apnea by lowering the required pressure settings. Other devices can hold the tongue in place to prevent it from falling back and blocking the throat during sleep. While you may not be thrilled with the idea of having to fall asleep with a mask tied to your face, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of options to choose from.
Sleeping on an angle can improve some of the symptoms of mild sleep apnea, but it can also be an excellent option for those using CPAP therapy. A CPAP machine uses a hose connected to a mask or nose bridge to deliver constant air pressure to help you breathe while you sleep. Most people can sleep better with CPAP therapy and generally feel more energetic during the day. Getting used to sleeping with a mask and forced air will take time and may initially make it more difficult to sleep at night. After the patient falls asleep, the pressure is adjusted to keep the back of the airway open during sleep. It's a good idea to consider your perfect mask when you put on, but even if you don't know what mask you want, it's important to talk to your doctor or medical equipment provider about how you sleep. Keep in mind that it's important to avoid naps, especially as a CPAP beginner, because they reduce your sleep debt.
When you try to turn around on your back while you sleep, these protectors make you feel uncomfortable and could help you gradually train to sleep on your side.