CPAP Hints

I’ve been using a CPAP for mild obstructive sleep apnea since January 2015. It definitely helps me get a good night’s rest and keeps me from snoring which helps Megan sleep. I still take it off in my sleep most nights. Megan prods me and I put it back on (update December 2017: I wear all night most of the time now! Hurray!). Here is a list of hints, most of which I’ve tried, to keep my mask on. Do you have any tips to add? Email or comment!

– keep a log of good and bad nights and what I’m doing about it
– Set an alarm in the middle of the night to put it on
– cough syrup (helpful when I have a cold!)
– antihistamine pills (when I have a runny nose or cough)
– nasal allergy spray… Flonase, saline
– turn the temperature up to 80 degrees (didn’t help me)
– use distilled water in the humidifier (I don’t usually use the humidifier but the chamber potentially won’t get as much crud in it if I use distilled water)
– higher pressure… ramp pressure from medium to higher (waiting for the doctor to change the settings is for chumps. I fiddled with the settings a little and it helped. Just 1 small change every 2 nights and a log book helped dial it in for me!)
– Set a timer when going to bed so I don’t forget (I wait til I’m almost asleep to put it on. I sometimes fall asleep forgetting. So I set a 10 min timer when getting into bed for a while)
– Chin strap (didn’t help)
– shave before bed for a smooth face (helps! I do it nightly now)
– wash the facemask weekly (if I don’t, I have to keep pulling it tighter to keep it from leaking… wash every week. My masks have lasted 3-12 months)
– rinse my nostrils with water and blow my nose before bed for clear nose.

I went to a few doctors to try to help improve my sleeping with it. Every time, they’d look at the CPAP’s computerized log, ask some obvious dumb questions and say, “I dunno. Keep trying, you’ll get it.” and charge me a hundred bucks. Every time, I left the office MUCH more discouraged than when I went in. Most recently at an office visit, I asked to try some different masks. I tried 3 masks in the office and ended up with a size Large instead of the Medium that I previously had. That has helped!

I’m glad I have a CPAP. Good luck to you!

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