3 Tips for Sleeping with a CPAP Machine

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What's the soundtrack of your sleep?

Is it this? (Sound of CRICKETS)

Or this? (RAIN)

Or is it this? (SNORING)

If it's the last one, you may have sleep apnea. And a CPAP machine, or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, can help you sleep.

So here are some tips to make the transition go more smoothly. Number one, get help for nasal symptoms.

Some people complain of runny nose or congestion after they start using their CPAP.

Don't let this stop you. Talk to your doctor. He may prescribe a decongestant or a corticosteroid nasal spray to help your symptoms.

You can also use the heated humidifier that comes with some CPAP machines.

The humidifier moistens the air, and helps keep your nose and mouth from getting irritated.

Number two, make sure it fits.

The mask can't do its job if it's hanging off the side of your face. The CPAP relies on air pressure to work. So the mask has to be secured properly, not too tight, but not too loose. You shouldn't feel any air leaking from the mask.

And make sure the mask doesn't sit too high on the bridge of your nose. This will cause air to blow into your face, giving you an annoying case of dry eye.

Number three, practice makes perfect. Practice using it during the day. This can help you get used to it. First, hold the mask over your face without straps. Then, try wearing the mask with the hose. Next, add the straps. When you're ready, turn your CPAP machine on low. Start with 10 minutes, and slowly increase the time you wear it. Try doing something relaxing, like reading a book or watching TV before you go to sleep with it on.

Be patient with yourself and take your time. You'll need time to adjust--


[SCREAMING] --and so will others around you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, like feeling rested and refreshed after a good night's sleep.