New or Adjusting to CPAP? Let Us Help with CPAP Desensitization Steps!

How To Get Used to CPAP

Are you having trouble adjusting to CPAP therapy? Maybe you’re new and still learning the ropes? Beginning sleep apnea treatment isn’t easy for everyone, and despite the great benefits and life changes it can bring, many people often give up on it instead of truly learning how to get used to CPAP therapy. Luckily, we’re here with some CPAP desensitization steps plus tips and tricks on how to get used to CPAP pressure and other CPAP therapy elements.

Tips for Adjusting to CPAP

  • Wear Your Mask Daily - Perhaps, the biggest challenge that comes with adjusting to CPAP is wearing a mask every night. A close second is getting used to the constant delivery of pressurized air into your airway. To make this transition a bit easier, try out these CPAP desensitization steps and relaxation techniques to help you learn how to get used to CPAP pressure:
  1. First, place the mask in front of your face, without any tubing or headgear, and practice breathing for 60 seconds.
  2. Connect the mask to the CPAP machine and switch on the air. Hold the mask in front of your face for another 60 seconds and focus on your breathing. If the mask or pressure makes you uncomfortable - pause - and try again in a few minutes. 
  3. Then, put the headgear on and continue practicing breathing a couple of minutes at a time. 
  4. Do this daily for more extended periods of time each day. Try reading or watching TV to pass the time.
  • Practice in Stages - Once you feel comfortable wearing your CPAP mask during the day or while practicing before bed, try sleeping with it. But remember, it’s okay to take it slow when adjusting to CPAP.
    1. First, try taking a nap while using your CPAP device, but you don’t have to wear your mask for the whole duration of the nap just yet.
    2. Once you’ve become comfortable with 30-60 mins, try gradually increasing the time, adding another 30 minutes each time you use it.
    3. Keep a journal of your progress, effort, and obstacles so you can track commonalities among issues, how far you’ve come, and determine how far you have left to go.
    4. Reach out for advice or assistance if you need it. A great support system can significantly aid in your progress when adjusting to CPAP.
  • Prepare Equipment in Advance - After a long day of running around, it’s easy to be lazy and skip CPAP therapy instead of taking the time to prepare your device. But, laziness won’t keep your airways open and keep you sleeping soundly through the night. Instead of waiting until just before best, prepare your equipment in advance, whether it’s first thing in the morning or later in the day. Forming this habit will help in the long run when adjusting to CPAP.
    1. Set your CPAP supplies at your bedside and if you use a humidifier, prepare the distilled water.
    2. Have cleaning supplies ready to go and store them close by for ease of access.
    3. Clean your equipment and supplies in the morning; that way, they are dry and ready for bedtime when you are!
  • Be Patient - If you’re feeling discouraged, seek support. If you’re feeling discomfort, consult your doctor or sleep specialist. Try to remember that adjusting to CPAP doesn’t have to be a sprint. With proper patience, practice, and perseverance, you will get the hang of it. Your mind and body will thank you for not giving up!