How to adapt and fall asleep with the sleep apnea mask
Adapting to the CPAP therapy can be difficult at first and you may have trouble sleeping with the sleep apnea mask. This is normal because the body takes a while to adopt new habits and thus, it will get more comfortable with time. Meanwhile, here is how to successfully fall asleep with a CPAP mask and counter obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
1. Make adjustments during the day
Try putting on the mask during the day when you are not tired. This will help you feel if it needs any changes to make you comfortable. The environment at the clinic may differ from the one at your house, which may require you to tighten or loosen the mask slightly. Don’t wait until bedtime when you are fatigued and sleepy. Instead, do it at daytime. If it’s your perfect fit, no air should be directed up in the eye area. You can purchase soft nasal pads to reduce the rubbing of the mask straps around your nose.
2. Maintain good sleep hygiene
Before starting the CPAP therapy, adjust your practices, habits and lifestyle to support regular good sleep. Have a good mattress and pillows and make your room dark, quiet and warm. Get earplugs and eye masks to control noise and light respectively. Keep off coffee, alcohol and phones before bedtime since they can affect your sleep patterns.
3. Go to bed only when tired
If you are not feeling tired when going to bed, your mind may be preoccupied with thinking about the mask and you may not sleep. Even if it’s bedtime, do not go to bed before you feel tired enough to sleep.
4. Relax before bed
Keep off vigorous exercises 1-2 hours before bedtime. Try taking a bath, read a good book, watch a movie or do relaxation exercises. Breathing exercises can also help you fall asleep faster without much thought.
Be patient with yourself and adhere to the above tips. Use the sleep apnea mask every day to make it easier for your body to adapt. Remind yourself of the benefits you will get at the end of the therapy, and your attitude will remain positive.