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Tips for Solving Common Sleep Problems with a CPAP Machine

2/28/2015

cpap settings

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects about 18 million Americans. Without treatment, sleep apnea sufferers are three times as likely to have heart disease and four times more likely to have a stroke than people who aren't afflicted.

But treatment can come with its own set of problems. Most doctors and sleep specialists will start sleep apnea sufferers off with CPAP machines that provide continuous air pressure during sleep to keep the airways open.

Not everyone has an easy time falling asleep with CPAP masks and nasal pillows, so here are some tips to get through common problems when you start your treatment.

  • Trouble Falling Asleep

    It's totally normal to have a hard time falling asleep when you first start treatment with your machine. Try to wear the mask during the day to get used to how it feels. You can also adjust your CPAP settings to make things more comfortable. Most CPAP settings include a ramp feature that gradually increases to the right air pressure setting as you fall asleep. Following good sleep habits will also help.

  • Noise Issues

    Many newer CPAP machines are very quiet, but lighter sleepers may still be bothered by the new sound. Check to make sure the filter on your CPAP machine is clean and unobstructed. If that's not the answer, ask the supplier if the device is working properly or use earplugs or white noise generators to block out the sound.

  • Discomfort from Forced Air

    The sensation of forced air can be hard to adjust to, especially if you're trying to fall asleep at the same time. You can try to use the ramp function to get used to the air gradually. Your doctor can adjust your CPAP settings to start at a lower pressure as well. You may also have more luck with a different mask style or even a BiPAP machine, which provides less pressure.

Most people just need a little time to adjust to their CPAP machine. Follow these tips and you'll be experiencing a restful night of sleep in no time.