4 Tips For A Restful Night When You Start Sleeping With A CPAP Machine

If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have decided to treat your condition with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, you may be having some difficulty adjusting to using it every night. If so, use the following four tips for a restful night when you start sleeping with the machine.

Avoid Eating Anything Heavy Or Spicy Before Bed

By itself, sleep apnea could contribute to your heartburn symptoms. When you are on CPAP therapy, these symptoms could become worse because some of the forced air can enter your stomach through the esophagus. When you try to sleep on a full or irritated stomach, the acid reflux becomes more noticeable.

Plan your evening meal at least two hours before bedtime. If you usually eat spicy foods, eat three hours before laying down. This gives your food time to digest. It also gives the lining of your stomach time to cool off after ingesting hot seasonings or sauces.

Experiment with the foods you normally eat to see if they disturb your sleep. For example, if you normally have fried or mashed potatoes with dinner, do not eat them one night to see if there is a difference. If so, you may want to eat them only at your midday meal.

Use Saline Drops And Aloe Vera For Excessive Dryness

The constant air blowing into your nose or mouth could cause excessive dryness. If you wake up every morning with cotton mouth, use saline drops moisten it. The saline naturally lubricates the delicate tissues and relieves your symptoms.

If you have noticed any dryness around the outside of your lips or nostrils, apply pure aloe vera to your skin before putting on your mask. It is gentle enough for use every day and can protect your skin from the air.

Do not use petroleum jelly, especially if your machine uses an oxygen tank. The jelly is oil-based and is potentially flammable. If a spark occurs around it and the oxygen, you could suffer severe burns.

Position Pillows To Keep You On Your Back While Sleeping

When you wear a full mask at night with your CPAP treatment, you may find it difficult to sleep on your side or stomach. The pressure of the mask may wake you up as you reposition yourself. Sleeping on your back can help solve this problem.

If you do not normally sleep on your back, you can train yourself to do so by positioning firm pillows around you. Place one under each arm to keep your from rolling to your side. Also, place a pillow beneath your knees. This not only keeps you from turning, but it will also make you more comfortable by taking the strain off of your lower back.

Put Padding Underneath The CPAP Chin Strap 

If you are having trouble adjusting to the chin strap holding the mask in place, you can place padding beneath it. This keeps it soft on your skin and prevents the sides of the strap from irritating you. The padding also keeps the strap loose enough to decrease the pressure on your face.

If you find the padding does not help, you may not have the proper strap size or material for you. They are available in different lengths, widths, and fabrics. You may need to experiment with different ones until you find a strap that feels the most comfortable.

After trying the tips above for a couple of weeks, you may still have trouble sleeping. If so, you may want to speak to your doctor or equipment company (at sites like http://www.cornermedical.com) for advice or options for a better fitting mask or CPAP straps.