Deciding to use a CPAP mouthpiece is a huge and brave step. You have chosen to take a first step to treating your sleep apnea, no matter how daunting CPAP therapy may have seemed to you. Studies show that most sleep apnea patients refuse to undergo the therapy because they are intimidated by the masks for CPAP.
More than just a brave step, it’s also the responsible step. From the first time you went to your sleep clinic, to the moment you’re about to choose your first CPAP mouthpiece, you’ve been doing it not just for the comfort of your family or bed mate, not just for a fully refreshed sleep, but also for your future self. You are eliminating the risks for the many sleep apnea-induced diseases you may contract when you age.
Getting Comfortable with your CPAP Mouthpiece or Mask
Now that you’re taking on this new therapy, you might be feeling worried that things will go wrong. Here are some tips and reminders to help you adjust to the new masks for CPAP added in your lifestyle.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with your mask and it stays put.
Through the help of your sleep technician, make sure that your CPAP gear is fully suited to your lifestyle and sleeping habits. There are various kinds of CPAP gear you can choose from: there are full-faced masks for CPAP, nasal pillows for CPAP, and even a nasal CPAP mask without headgear.
Whichever kind of CPAP mouthpiece or mask you end up with, cooperate with your sleep technician to make sure it fits perfectly. This will avoid slippage from your face when you’re in bed, and waking you up.
Gradually wrap your mind around undergoing CPAP therapy.
It might not seem real until you’re face-to-face with your CPAP gear and you can feel tendrils of anxiety and claustrophobia creeping in. Don’t worry, and don’t back out of this. It’s normal for CPAP patients to feel these during the early periods of their CPAP therapy. Help yourself decrease the feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia by following these tips:
- Wear your CPAP mouthpiece or mask in short intervals of time first. Spend five minutes using your CPAP mouthpiece or mask during day time to get used to it first. As you get more comfortable, you can increase it to 10, 15, to 20 minutes, until using it doesn’t feel new and daunting anymore.
- Disconnect your mask from its machine and wear it around your house, while you’re reading, watching television, and even doing household chores. This will help you get used to wearing the mouthpiece or mask even more.
Listen to classical and soothing music to help you sleep easier.
You’re a few moments from getting into bed and wearing your CPAP mouthpiece. The machine is right beside you, and you’re feeling slightly nervous. Tune out these thoughts by listening to white noise or instrumental music to help you relax and fall asleep faster. There are many playlists available in your favorite music provider that are curated for inducing sleep. There are playlists with just white noise too.
Be patient with yourself.
If you’ll take time to read forums for CPAP patients, you will find out that the adjustment periods for using masks for CPAP vary from patient to patient. If you find yourself getting into your new sleeping lifestyle easier, you’re one of the blessed ones. And if you’re not, however, do not quit.
According to one forum discussion on CPAP Talk, it might take time for you to feel comfortable and feel the effects of using a CPAP mouthpiece, but it will come. The key is not to quit the therapy. You can consult your sleep doctor or technician for other options of masks for CPAP, but do not quit the CPAP therapy.
These are just a few tips for getting used to wearing your CPAP mouthpiece and mask. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your sleep technician if you find it hard to adjust to a new sleeping lifestyle on your own.