Tag: Sleep Apnea

Travel CPAP: Unpacking the Benefits

Your Companion for Sweet Dreams on the Go

Do you love the thrill of exploring new places? Whether you’re a road warrior for work or an explorer for pleasure, we’re here to guide you through maintaining your health and ensuring you get quality rest no matter where you are. If you’re a frequent traveler with sleep apnea, you know caring for your sleep health is vital — and part of that is everyday use of your CPAP machine. You may have wondered whether a travel CPAP machine is the right companion for wherever your journeys take you. We’ll look at some essential factors for you to consider as you decide.

The Joys of Portability

First, the most obvious perk of a travel CPAP machine is its portability. These devices are designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible, making them a breeze to carry around. Machines like the Transcend Micro are smaller than many handheld game consoles or a paperback thriller! Imagine not worrying about fitting your CPAP into your carry-on or lugging an extra bag. With the small size of a travel CPAP, you can pack that extra pair of shoes or bring home souvenirs for loved ones without a second thought!

Convenience at Your Fingertips

Now, let’s talk convenience. Travel CPAP machines like the ResMed AirMini or the Breas Z2 are built for the traveler at heart. They’re not just smaller; they’re designed to fit into your life easily when you’re on the go. The ResMed AirMini weighs a mere 10.6 ounces – less than an iPad! This means fewer worries about how to pack your device and more time soaking in the joys of travel. Plus, setting up your travel CPAP in new environments is a cinch, which means one less hurdle in getting a good night’s sleep, wherever you may be.

With a travel CPAP, you don’t have to worry about finding distilled water wherever your travels may take you. Waterless humidification on some models can capture heat and moisture from your breath and the air to help keep your airway from drying out.

Not only is a travel CPAP easier to pack, but it also means your CPAP is always ready to go when you want to travel! You don’t have to take your primary unit apart and pack it, nor do you have to worry about accidentally leaving it – or parts of it — in a hotel room somewhere. It’ll be safe at home, awaiting your return.

Power Options Galore

One of the gems of travel CPAP machines is their versatile power options. Many models come with adapters for different power supplies worldwide; some will work with battery power and even offer battery packs or solar chargers for those off-the-grid adventures. This feature is a game-changer, ensuring you can keep your sleep apnea treatment consistent, even in flight or in remote corners of the globe.       

Ease of Use: A Breath of Fresh Air

Travel CPAP machines are designed with simplicity in mind. They aim to make your life easier, not more complicated. On many models, you can continue to use the CPAP mask you already sleep peacefully with each night. Some, like the Transcend Micro, have auto start and stop to initiate or stop therapy just by putting your mask on or taking it off — you don’t even have to fumble for a power button. With intuitive interfaces and straightforward settings, these devices ensure that managing your sleep apnea treatment remains hassle-free, giving you more time to enjoy your adventures.

Considering the Trade-Offs

No journey is without its bumps, and it’s the same with travel CPAP machines. Some models may be missing advanced features you’re used to with your home device, and it’s worth noting that not all insurance plans cover these portable wonders. The cost of a travel machine may only be worth it if you travel frequently and can use the machine regularly. However, the benefits of easily maintaining your treatment while traveling, even occasionally, can outweigh these considerations.

Quiet operation is vital for a machine that’s supposed to help you get restful sleep. Most travel machines have a noise level comparable to your home machine. For example, the ResMed AirMini measures approximately 2dBA louder than an AirSense 10. Sound perception can be subjective, so your travel device may sound slightly different from your home machine, even with whisper-quiet operation.

Remember, traveling with your regular CPAP is absolutely doable! In fact, to make that process as smooth as possible, we’ve crafted the ultimate guide on traveling with your CPAP. This guide is packed with tips and tricks to make traveling feel like a breeze.

The Importance of Consistent Treatment

Maintaining your sleep apnea treatment is vital, whether you’re at home or exploring the Amazon. Untreated sleep apnea can put a damper on your adventures, affecting your health and energy levels, and even a single night without a CPAP can increase your risk of severe complications. Daily use is essential, no matter where you’re sleeping! By ensuring you have a CPAP that suits your travel lifestyle, you’re taking a crucial step in caring for your well-being, enabling you to embrace every experience fully.

To Travel CPAP or Not?

After considering the advantages—portability, convenience, versatile power options, and ease of use—alongside the minor cons, the answer leans heavily towards a resounding yes if you’re a frequent traveler, a fan of traveling light, or simply looking to make your travel experiences smoother.

Your adventures should be about discovering new places, new experiences, and creating memories, not worrying about extra baggage or whether you’ll get a healthy night’s sleep. The best CPAP machine for you is the one you’ll use, no matter where you might be. A travel CPAP can be a faithful companion on your journeys, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to explore – and when you’re ready to be at home in your bed, your trusty conventional CPAP will be ready and waiting for you!

We understand the importance of your health and well-being on your travel adventures, from finding the top travel CPAP machines to ensuring you’re equipped with the mask and accessories that help you sleep as soundly as possible. That’s why we’re here every step of the way to make sure you have the resources and support you need!

Wake Up to Better, Healthy Sleep!

Sleep Awareness Month

March is Sleep Awareness Month, making it the perfect opportunity to dive into the world of healthy sleep and, specifically, the common yet often misunderstood condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We’ll explore the risk factors, sleep apnea’s unique impact on women, and the transformative power of sleep studies and proper sleep hygiene. We’ll empower you with knowledge and solutions for better, healthier sleep!

Unpacking the Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is more than just snoring; it’s a condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Sleep Apnea can lead to a host of problems, from daytime fatigue to serious health issues. But what puts you at risk for OSA? Here’s a closer look:

Weight: Being overweight is a key risk factor, as excess fat around the neck can obstruct the airway.

Anatomy: Factors like a narrow throat, neck circumference, enlarged tonsils, or a large tongue can increase the risk.

Age and Gender: OSA is more common in men, but the risk increases for women after menopause. Sleep apnea occurs more frequently in older adults.

Family History: Genetics plays a role, so having relatives with OSA might increase your risk.

Lifestyle Choices: Smoking and alcohol consumption can contribute to the development of sleep apnea.

Recognizing these risk factors is crucial for early identification and management of OSA.

Recognizing Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Awareness of sleep apnea symptoms is critical for early detection and treatment. Common signs include loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, or choking or gasping for air during sleep. Other symptoms may include morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, mood changes such as irritability or depression, and a sore throat or dry mouth upon waking. Talk to your healthcare professional about these symptoms if you or someone you know is experiencing them.

Sleep Apnea in Women: A Closer Look

Sleep apnea isn’t just a man’s issue. In women, the condition is often underdiagnosed and can present differently. Symptoms like insomnia, morning headaches, fatigue, and mood changes are common in women with sleep apnea. Hormonal changes during menopause can also increase the risk, making it essential for women to be aware of and address potential sleep issues.

The Importance of Sleep Testing

“Do I need a sleep study?” If you’re asking this, the answer might be yes, especially if you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms! A sleep study is critical for diagnosing OSA and can help determine your treatment options, like using a CPAP machine. This test monitors your sleep stages, breathing, oxygen levels, and heart rate, providing a comprehensive view of what happens while you sleep.

Sleep testing, or polysomnography, is essential for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. There are two main types of sleep studies: in-office and home sleep testing.

In-office sleep testing involves an overnight stay at a sleep center, where technicians monitor your sleep throughout the night. This comprehensive testing measures various aspects of your sleep, including brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing patterns, and movements. It provides a detailed picture of your body’s behavior during sleep, allowing for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans.

Home sleep testing offers a more convenient option for many patients. With this method, you receive a portable device to take home, which you use while you sleep in your own bed. This device typically records your breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort. While less comprehensive than the in-office test, home sleep testing is effective for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in straightforward cases. It can be a more comfortable and cost-effective alternative for patients.

Both testing methods can play a role in diagnosing sleep apnea and determining the best treatment approach, such as using a CPAP machine or other interventions. Talk to your healthcare professional to determine what your best choice for a sleep study might be.

Enhancing Sleep Hygiene for Better Health

Good sleep hygiene is essential for everyone, especially if you’re at risk for sleep disorders. Here are some strategies to improve your sleep quality:

  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Ensure your sleeping environment is quiet, dark, and cool.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, especially when you’re close to bedtime.
  • Disconnect from electronic devices before sleep to help your mind relax.

By improving your sleep hygiene, you can enhance the quality of your sleep and reduce the risk of sleep-related issues.

Rotech and Sleep Central: Your Partners in Sleep Health

Navigating the world of sleep health can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. Rotech and Sleep Central are here to help, offering resources and support for your entire journey to better sleep!

As we observe Sleep Awareness Month, let’s commit to prioritizing our sleep health. Understanding the risk factors and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, recognizing its signs in both men and women, and taking proactive steps towards better sleep hygiene can improve your health and well-being. And with Rotech and Sleep Central by your side, you’re never alone on this journey to better rest. Here’s to healthier sleep and happier days ahead!

Embracing Daylight Saving Time

Spring Forward with Healthy Sleep!

As daylight saving time rolls in, it’s not just the clocks that spring forward—that hour of sleep leaps right out the window, too! This can be a bit of a hiccup for anyone, but it can be an extra challenge for older adults and those battling sleep apnea. Fear not: we’ve gathered some strategies to help you adjust without missing a beat.

Shine with the Sun

Let’s talk about the magic of sunlight. Morning light is like nature’s alarm clock—it tells your body it’s time to wake up and get moving. Soaking in those early rays helps reset your internal clock to harmonize with the new time. When evening rolls around, dial down the artificial lights and give screens a rest to let your body know it’s time to wind down. This is a gentle nudge for your circadian rhythms, helping you adjust smoothly.

A Cozy Nest for Optimal Rest

Creating a sleep haven can make all the difference in the quality of your sleep. Think cool, dark, and quiet. Sticking to your treatment routine with your CPAP or Bi-Level machine is vital for healthy sleep for those with sleep apnea, but it’s not the only step you can take. Whether it’s investing in blackout curtains, exploring the soothing hum of a white noise machine, or otherwise ensuring your bedroom is a tranquil retreat, setting the stage for a peaceful slumber really works!

Sleep Hygiene: Your Nightly Rituals

Consistency is your best friend when it comes to sleep hygiene. Try to keep your bedtime and wake-up times steady, even when the temptation to sleep in a bit longer on weekends calls. Cultivate a pre-sleep ritual that relaxes you—maybe a warm bath, a good book, or some gentle yoga stretches. These acts signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and drift off to a healthy, restorative night’s sleep.

Nap Smart

Napping isn’t off the table, but think of it as a power-up — not a catch-up. Short, early afternoon naps can refresh you without spoiling your nighttime sleep appetite. Aim for those quick, rejuvenating 20-minute snoozes to recharge your batteries.

A Lifestyle That Loves Sleep

Good sleep hygiene doesn’t stop at the bedroom door; it’s a lifestyle! Your daily habits play a starring role in how well you sleep. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and hydration all support healthy sleep. Steer clear of known sleep saboteurs like heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol.

A Friendly Reminder

Adjusting to daylight saving time doesn’t have to be a chore. With a bit of planning and some positive adjustments, it can be an opportunity to refresh your sleep habits and embrace the longer days with zest. Here’s to brighter days and restful nights ahead!

Is it time for a CPAP Replacement?

Curious about CPAP Replacement? How do you know when it’s time to upgrade or replace your CPAP machine? If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been using the same reliable CPAP machine for a few years. First, kudos to you for being committed to your sleep apnea therapy and taking charge of your health!

In this blog post, we’ll dive into why CPAP manufacturers recommend replacing your machine after around 60 months or five years. So sit back, relax, and let’s unravel this mystery together.

Reason 1: Improved Technology and Features

Like smartphones and televisions, CPAP machine technology has come a long way. Think of it as going from a flip phone to the latest iPhone. While your current CPAP machine might be doing its job, newer models incorporate advanced features that can enhance your overall therapy experience. From quieter operation to better humidification control, these updated machines bring a new level of comfort and convenience to your sleep apnea therapy.

Reason 2: Enhanced Therapy Effectiveness

As time passes, CPAP manufacturers continue to innovate and improve the performance of their machines. With each new iteration, they find ways to optimize therapy effectiveness, making it even more beneficial for users like you. By upgrading to a newer CPAP machine, you might experience better pressure delivery and smarter data tracking capabilities, contributing to more efficient and effective sleep apnea treatment.

Reason 3: Insurance Coverage and Reimbursement

Here’s the icing on the CPAP cake: most insurance companies recognize the importance of keeping up with technology. As a result, they offer coverage for CPAP machine replacement around the 5-year mark. That’s right – you might be eligible for a shiny new machine without breaking the bank. Why not use this opportunity to enhance your therapy? It’s a win-win situation!

Maintenance Tips:

Before you call us to upgrade your CPAP machine, let’s address an important point: Regular maintenance is critical to prolonging the lifespan of your CPAP equipment. So, you need to make sure to clean your mask, tubing, and humidifier chamber regularly to keep everything in tip-top shape. Also, remember to replace your filters and other accessories for optimal performance! By taking good care of your CPAP gear, you can maximize its longevity and make the most of your investment.

So, if you’ve been pondering whether it’s time to replace your trusty old CPAP machine, we hope we’ve shed some light on the benefits of upgrading. From improved technology and therapy effectiveness to potential insurance coverage, there are plenty of reasons to consider a fresh start with a new machine. Remember, your sleep apnea therapy should be a breeze, and upgrading your CPAP machine might bring that extra level of comfort and ease you’ve longed for. Sweet dreams and happy upgrading!

Interested in a CPAP upgrade? Want to learn more about our 60-month replacement program or find out if you’re eligible to replace your machine? Contact your Rotech location today!

Is it Time for a CPAP Machine Upgrade?

Sometimes, our trusty CPAP machines show subtle signs that they’re ready to retire. While they can’t say, “Hey, buddy! Time for an upgrade,” they can hint that it’s time to enhance your sleep apnea therapy setup. In this post, we’ll explore a few clues that your CPAP or BiLevel machine might be nudging you toward an upgrade. Listen to these subtle hints and consider giving yourself the gift of enhanced comfort, updated technology, and more effective therapy!

When to Say Goodbye:

It’s essential to keep track of the age of your CPAP machine to ensure that you’re receiving the best possible therapy. As a general guideline, consider replacing your CPAP machine around the 60-month or 5-year mark. This timeframe takes into consideration the normal wear and tear that occurs over time, as well as advancements in technology that can improve your sleep apnea therapy experience. It’s also when most insurance companies will cover a replacement! Staying aware of the age of your machine and considering a replacement when necessary helps you to continue to reap the benefits of effective treatment.

Noisy Nights:

One of the telltale signs that it might be time for a CPAP machine upgrade is if your once-quiet machine has suddenly started disrupting your night with noise. Imagine hoping for a peaceful sleep, only to find your bedroom transformed into a soundstage for a high-budget blockbuster. Not only can the noise be annoying, but it could also be a sign that the internal components of your machine are wearing out. Remember, your CPAP machine should be helping you drift off to dreamland, not preventing it.

Humidifier Hibernation:

Using a CPAP machine with a humidifier brings the added perk of enjoying soothing, moist air while you slumber. Are you refilling the humidifier tank less often than you used to? It might indicate that your machine’s humidification system isn’t functioning as efficiently as before. Just like a plant, our bodies need hydration! If your CPAP machine isn’t delivering the moisture it once did, consider an upgrade with better humidification capabilities.

The Regression Conundrum:

Picture this: you’ve been faithfully using your CPAP therapy for months or years and feeling great. But suddenly, you feel more fatigued, experiencing increased daytime sleepiness or snoring like a chainsaw again. If you feel like you’re slipping back into old sleep apnea habits, it’s a clear sign that it might be time to consider a machine upgrade. Your health and well-being should never take a step backward!

When it comes to your sleep therapy, you deserve the best of the best. Any of these signs might be your CPAP machine’s way of urging you towards an upgrade that can positively change your sleep quality and overall well-being. By heeding these subtle hints and considering a new machine, you can enhance your comfort, improve therapy effectiveness, and possibly receive insurance coverage for the upgrade. Want to learn more or check your eligibility? Contact your nearest Rotech location!

Traveling with your CPAP: the Ultimate Guide

Once you’re used to your CPAP, you don’t want to sleep without it — no matter where you might be. Going without your sleep apnea treatment will bring back the snoring, headaches, and daytime exhaustion that caused you to seek therapy for sleep apnea in the first place! Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help make your next trip as smooth as possible. Read on for everything you need to know about traveling with your CPAP machine.

How do I pack my CPAP for travel?

Carry your CPAP with you! Most CPAP devices come with a travel bag, which is the best way to pack your CPAP machine and equipment. When you pack up your CPAP, make sure you’ve thoroughly emptied and dried out your humidifier water chamber and included your power cord.

Do not check your CPAP as baggage or place it in your checked luggage. Not only can baggage handling be rough on a device, but if your luggage is lost, so is your CPAP! Cruise ships and domestic passenger trains also ask that you carry on your CPAP and keep it with you.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. It applies to all flights by U.S. airlines and flights to or from the U.S. by foreign airlines. Your CPAP is an assistive device, which means you can bring it on an airplane and stow it in an overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Assistive devices do not count towards the airline’s baggage limit if the bag does not contain additional personal items. Learn more about air travel with an assistive device and your rights in Air Travel with an Assistive Device, from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Make sure your device is packed separately from your other baggage items, and the only things packed with it are necessary accessories. Some airlines (especially budget carriers that typically charge for carry-ons) may check to verify that your assistive device is the only thing in its bag.

Additionally, you’ll want to bring a copy of your prescription. Having your prescription with you can be vital if you get to your destination and something breaks or you need a crucial accessory. Being prepared with your prescription will help you be able to get any replacement CPAP equipment pieces.

How do I get through airport security with my CPAP?

All travelers are required to undergo screening at the TSA checkpoint. CPAPs, Bi-level or BiPAP machines, and APAPs must be removed from their carrying case and put through the X-ray machine. Your tubing, power cord, and masks can stay in the case. If you’d like, you can provide a clear plastic bag to put your CPAP device in for x-ray screening.

While most screening agents are very familiar with CPAPs, you still might find it convenient to add a tag that says MEDICAL DEVICE to your bag.

If a TSA agent requests to inspect your machine or swab it for explosives, you have the right to request that they change to new gloves. You may also ask inspectors to clean the surface they will use to inspect your CPAP.

Do I have to take out my CPAP if I have TSA Precheck?

Generally, travelers do not need to remove CPAPs from carry-on bags in TSA PreCheck lanes. However, checkpoint officers will provide guidance if they need to perform additional screening on your device.

If the agent asks you to remove your machine, you’ll need to send it through the scanner on its own. Additionally, if TSA PreCheck lines are unavailable, you must go through the standard security screening.

Do I have to tell the airline about your CPAP machine?

If you plan on using your CPAP on board, you most likely need to notify your airline at least 48 hours before your flight. There may also be seating restrictions based on FAA rules. In addition, in-seat electrical power is not always available on every aircraft or in every seat. You may need to bring external batteries with you to power your device. Check with your carrier well before your trip to find their specific regulations.

Can I cruise with my CPAP?

Yes! Cruise lines are very familiar with CPAP users. Major lines have disability departments that can assist you with whatever you need. Most cruise lines will provide you with an extension cord and distilled water. Many (including Royal CaribbeanCelebrityNorwegian, and Disney) allow you to request these accommodations when you book or before your departure date. Check with your cruise line to confirm their policies and procedures. Many cruisers like to bring a roll of gaffer tape (available from retailers like Amazon or Home Depot) to tape down their extension cord in their cabin and reduce the likelihood of tripping over it!

Can I travel with water for my CPAP humidifier?

You can bring water, but if you’re carrying it on with your CPAP device, it must be in a sealed container of 3.4 ounces or less and fit in a quart-sized baggie.

You should be able to purchase distilled water at most destinations. Suppose you’re not planning on driving or stopping at a grocery store or pharmacy. In that case, delivery services like Instacart, Shipt, Postmates, and Doordash will often deliver distilled water and anything else you need (fees and upcharges may vary). 

If you need additional water for your CPAP humidifier, you can also pack it in your checked luggage. Some larger resorts may also have distilled water available for purchase or use. Housekeeping departments often use it for irons and steamers — it never hurts to ask!

How do I clean my CPAP while traveling?

Even away from home, cleaning your CPAP mask and accessories is crucial. Keeping your mask and accessories clean is essential for effective sleep therapy!

If you have access to a bathroom at your destination, you’re good to go! Clean your equipment the same way you do at home, with warm water and mild, non-fragrant soap. If you have room, hang your tubing over a towel rack or shower rod to dry.

Many products are available to make CPAP equipment cleaning easier on the go. Wipes, sprays, and mask and accessory sanitizers can all help ensure your equipment is squeaky clean no matter where you are.

What other travel accessories do I need?

Make sure you pack your machine’s power cord, and you may also want an extension cord. Not all outlets are convenient, so this can help make sure you can sleep well — in regards to your CPAP — in any hotel room, rental home, or relative’s house. (We can’t guarantee the comfort of Aunt Mildred’s guest room bed, but at least you’ll be able to sleep healthfully!)

Traveling internationally? Your CPAP machine should have a label that tells you the acceptable power inputs. Check the voltage and the hertz at your destination to ensure they’re compatible with your machine! While most modern CPAP machines are dual voltage, you’ll still need a country-specific adapter.

It’s also a good idea to keep a CPAP battery like the Portable Outlet or another backup power on hand when you travel, whether for use in-flight or at your destination.

Bon Voyage!

Wherever your journeys bring you, we hope this guide helps you travel confidently with your CPAP!

Lower your blood pressure – in your sleep!

It’s known as the silent killer: High blood pressure. It may not show symptoms, but it can increase the risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and more. Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Only about 1 in 4 has their condition under control (CDC). 

Evidence shows a strong association between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and chronic hypertension. OSA makes patients more likely to develop hypertension, but people who have hypertension are also more likely to have sleep apnea. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is the primary treatment for OSA. 

Using your CPAP as prescribed has many benefits, including better sleep quality, reduced symptoms like daytime sleepiness, and improvement in quality of life. Research has shown that there’s an extra benefit to staying compliant with CPAP therapy: lower blood pressure.

Researchers have found that CPAP use results in a significant improvement in blood pressure. In one study, researchers monitored 55 patients with both OSA and hypertension for 24 months. Researchers recorded how much the patients used their CPAP. Patients wore a device to monitor and record their blood pressure. At the end of the study, patients who used their CPAP as they should had a considerable reduction in their diastolic blood pressure! 

Benefits of CPAP Therapy

CPAP can bring significant benefits to those with sleep apnea, including reducing the risk for illnesses associated with OSA like hypertension and stroke. There’s a catch, though: CPAP only brings those benefits when used regularly.  A 2017 study showed that even three months of compliant CPAP therapy showed a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic pressures. Patients who weren’t fully compliant with therapy saw no significant changes. Successful treatment of sleep apnea had additional cardiovascular benefits. Even patients who originally experienced reduced blood pressure saw those benefits reverse after a week without CPAP therapy. 

If you are having problems using your CPAP as prescribed, there is help available! Talk to your sleep physician or contact your Rotech location for more information.

After Your Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

You want me to wear what?!

What’s it like to get a sleep apnea diagnosis? Beforehand, you’re exhausted all of the time. Your lack of energy means it takes everything you have just to stay awake. Even when you get the opportunity to sleep late, it still feels like you never catch up. The sleepiness does not go away!

After sleep testing, you walk away with a sleep apnea diagnosis. Then you say, “okay, great. Now just get me whatever I need to get good sleep and have a normal, productive day for a change.”

The good news: there’s a fix for all your problems! A high-tech air pump is going to live on your nightstand. It’s going to blow a ridiculous amount of air into your nose and mouth, and this air comes through what looks suspiciously like a space mask and a tangled web of tubing.

Good night? Sweet dreams? Yeah, right!

Two seconds into wearing the mask and having the air blow your cheeks beyond the realm of possibilities, you’re done. There’s no way this solution is going to work for you. It’s just not worth the trouble.

Here’s the thing: it is worth the trouble. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping soundly and waking with the energy you once had. Sleep Apnea means that your body is not getting the deep sleep you need to really feel rested. When your body tries to get into a deeper sleep, your airways relax – which causes a more significant blockage of oxygen to your body. Your body will naturally force you to wake up and take deep breaths of air.  

You might not fully awaken and may not even realize this is happening! This process prevents you from going into a deeper sleep because your body prioritizes oxygen over rest. Regardless of how many hours you spend in bed, you stay tired because you never get the deep sleep your body truly needs!

The tests you had showed the precise amount of pressure it takes to keep your airway open. When your airway stays open, your body maintains a healthy oxygen level, and you get to sleep. Real sleep. Deep sleep. The kind of sleep where you wake up rested in the morning and have the energy to get through your day.

Yes, CPAP therapy can be uncomfortable at first. You won’t become accustomed to all of this new equipment overnight, but in time, you will. Even a few hours a night is a start – a few hours of deep sleep you weren’t getting before. If you continue to have trouble, call your Rotech location and ask for help!

Hang in there, and keep trying – the short- and long-term benefits of a good night’s sleep are worth it.

10 tricks to getting used to your new CPAP

Getting used to your new CPAP can be a challenge. Strapping a mask to your face with air blowing into your nose isn’t exactly a natural way to sleep! Some patients take to wearing their CPAP device easily, but many more go through a period of acclimation, or adjustment, while using the device. 

CPAP use can be challenging and may require some adjustments to your system. Here are 10 helpful tips to help you adjust to regular CPAP use.

  1. Lower the stakes:  don’t try to get used to your setup when you’re already tired and ready for bed. First, try wearing your CPAP for short periods during the day while you watch TV or read to get used to how it feels.
  2.  Having nasal problems or mouth leaks? Try a heated humidifier. Not only can it decrease those issues, it can increase CPAP compliance
  3. Keep going: We know that early persistence pays off. Research has shown that if you’re using your CPAP regularly after the first week, then you’ll most likely still be using it after 1 year.
  4. Keep it clean: clean your mask, tubing, and headgear regularly and remember to change them on the schedule established by your insurance provider. Typically, every three months for tubing and mask and every six months for the headgear
  5. Feeling the pressure? Many devices have a ramp feature that allows you to start treatment at a lower pressure. As you fall asleep, the pressure will gradually increase to your normal pressure. Many newer devices have a feature that also reduces resistance when you exhale.
  6. Prevent the pull: Is your tubing pulling on your mask? Try looping it over your headboard to reduce the sensation.
  7. Dry, stuffy nose? A nasal saline spray may reduce mild nasal dryness. If congestion continues, talk to your physician. A nasal decongestant or steroid spray may help, but shouldn’t be used without your provider’s guidance.
  8. Make sure your mask is just right: A properly adjusted mask should sit parallel to the face when viewed from the side, not tilted in or out. Overtightening your mask can actually increase leaks and will cause soreness, so make sure yours is snug but not tight to your face.
  9. Keep those filters clean: regularly clean and replace your CPAP’s filters. They help remove dust, pollen, mold, and other airborne particles that cause irritation and allergy symptoms.
  10. Remember, it’s worth it: Using your CPAP will reduce or alleviate the nagging symptoms caused by sleep apnea. Studies have shown that benefits of consistent CPAP use include:
    • Increased daytime attentiveness and energy level
    • Fewer morning headaches
    • Reduced irritability
    • Improved memory
    • Less waking during the night to go to the bathroom
    • Increased ability to exercise
    • Increased effectiveness at home or work
    • Improved overall quality of life

Improve your CPAP therapy: 5 expert tips

Once you’ve got a routine down, CPAP therapy can be pretty easy. But can you improve your CPAP therapy with some minor tweaks? CPAP therapy benefits millions of people who suffer from Sleep Apnea. For some, it’s a difficult adjustment. For others, it quickly becomes second nature. Regardless, CPAP therapy can reduce snoring and eliminate most apneas. As a result, you get the healthy, restorative sleep your body needs!

Whether you’re new to CPAP therapy or have been on a CPAP for years, it never hurts to get some new tricks. Here are a few simple but essential tips to help maintain or improve your CPAP therapy:

  1. Clean your mask! It only takes a few minutes, but cleaning your CPAP mask in the morning when you wake up removes oils that transfer from your face to your mask. 
  2. Clean your tubing! Simply hold the tubing in a u-shape and pour in some warm soapy water. Then, lift and lower each end to get the soapy water moving around the tube’s entire length, thoroughly cleaning the inside.
  3. Use those filters! Don’t use a CPAP machine without the filters. Filters play a crucial role in maintaining the life of your CPAP machine. Most devices have two kinds of filters: foam and ultra-fine. Use them both! Having clean filters means that whenever you take a breath, you’ll be receiving good clean air. 
  4. Order your supplies at the frequency recommended by your insurance guidelines. This will help you get the best therapy possible! While your supplies might look okay after a lot of use, after time, the materials start breaking down — and not always in ways visible to the naked eye. When your supplies begin to break down, your therapy will not be as effective. 
  5. Take charge of your therapy. If it feels like your CPAP therapy isn’t working, or isn’t working like it used to, do something about it! Do your supplies need to be replaced? Have your physical needs changed? 

Tiny tweaks to improve your CPAP therapy can make sure you’re getting the most out of it. Remember, you can always call Sleep Central for advice. We’re here to help you get the most out of your CPAP therapy!