Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure. Check out these tips for successful CPAP treatment.

Tip 1: Practice makes perfect

Like anything else you try for the first time, wearing a CPAP mask can feel weird. But if you don’t get accustomed to wearing it, you’ll have trouble sleeping with it. Instead of putting it on right before you try to sleep, start by wearing it as much as you can before bedtime. Try wearing it for an hour or so before you get into bed.

The more you get used to wearing it, the sooner you’ll have sweet dreams.

Tip 2: Use your CPAP mask every time you sleep

This might be the most important part of adjusting to your new sleep apnea therapy. Make sure you’re using it every night, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable at first. Get yourself in a routine right away by putting it on as soon as you get finished with your nighttime routine, such as brushing your teeth. The more you sleep with CPAP, the more familiar and second-nature it will become.

Tip 3: Make small adjustments to your CPAP mask nightly

Your mask may need adjustments every night. If you’re waking up with red marks on your face, loosen the mask up a little. If it falls off your face in the middle of the night, tighten it up. We’ll help you get a perfect fit, but it doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it to make it more comfortable.

Tip 4: Make sure your mask is fitted for YOU

It’s important to talk with our CPAP technicians about how you sleep so we can help you get a perfect fit. Are you a side sleeper? Do you breathe through your mouth? Be upfront and open with your technician and speak up about your sleep needs. Be your own advocate so you can get the right mask for you.

Tip 5: Use AutoRamp™ on your CPAP machine

This is one of the most popular settings on CPAP machines. The AutoRamp setting allows you to adjust to air pressure by starting at a low air pressure setting while you’re trying to fall asleep and then it increases to full pressure after you’re asleep. This helps you fall asleep easily and comfortably.

Tip 6: Use a CPAP humidifier if your nose or throat is dry

Keeping your nose and throat moist is a must when receiving CPAP treatment. All that air pressure can and will make it drier than what you’re used to.

Humidity is essential for success with CPAP treatment, and while room humidifiers are good, CPAP machines come with their own heated humidifier and tubing. Being able to custom-tailor the right amount of humidity for your body can prevent dryness in your throat and mouth for a more comfortable experience.

Time and patience are key to success

Using a CPAP device can be frustrating as you try to get used to it, but it’s important you stick with it. The treatment is essential to avoiding complications of obstructive sleep apnea, such as heart problems and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Work with your doctor and our CPAP experts to ensure the best fit and device for you. It can take a while to find the correct settings and get used to the mask. With time and patience, CPAP can positively affect your quality of life and health.