There are a ton of small, hard-to-predict obstacles to setting up and using your CPAP machine. If it’s your first night using the equipment, the anxiety and uncertainty of the experience can be frankly overwhelming. Thankfully, with the right advice and preparation, your first night should be easy-going and restful. To ensure you can feel at ease when you go to set up and use your CPAP machine for the first time, here is a handy list of what to expect during the first night that you use a CPAP machine (and tips for handling any obstacles):
Be patient while setting up the CPAP equipment
Setting up your CPAP equipment is a simple process, but it’s important to ensure everything is secure and functioning before you prepare for a long, comfortable night’s rest. If your CPAP machine has a humidifier attached to it, it’s especially crucial that you check that it’s functioning. Next, you’ll need to secure the hose that connects your machine and your face mask appropriately (and be sure to find the exact right way to make your mask fit your face as well). Finally, set your machine in a location where your mask, hose, and power cord will not be disturbed during the night (especially if you tend to roll in your sleep).
Do not expect everything to go ‘just right’ on the first night
There are a lot of small, subtle things that can malfunction or feel a bit off when using a CPAP machine for the first time. To ensure you can begin getting in the groove of using your CPAP effectively every night, you’ll need to breathe, relax and adjust yourself to this new experience. It’s highly recommended that you even use the machine, listen to it, and get used to the fit of your mask before you lay down with it for the first time. If you do so, you’ll be much more prepared for the somewhat-alien experience of using a CPAP machine.
Desiring adjustments to the equipment is not uncommon
Even if you feel as though your machine is fully ready, and just right for your tastes, you may find yourself needing adjustments. Do not fret if this happens, as it’s certainly not uncommon given how alien the CPAP machine can seem at first. If your mask simply will not stay on, you’ll need to see a doctor to receive a better fitting mask, as this is the most essential part of the machine’s ability to treat your sleep apnoea. If your machine does not have a humidifier, and when you use your machine you constantly find yourself having a runny nose or dry mouth in the morning (or when you wake up at night), it’s important that you find a humidifier attachment for it immediately. This will help alleviate this bothersome side effect and keep you on the path to effectively treating your sleep apnoea in a comfortable manner. If your equipment seems to be harming you or making your breathing worse, be sure to immediately contact your doctor to make sure your machine is not malfunctioning.
Feeling anxious or claustrophobic at the beginning of treatment is not uncommon
CPAP machines are notoriously anxiety-inducing for some new users. The mixture of the machine’s noise, having a mask covering your face while you’re sleeping, and the awareness of your sleep apnoea can cause a ton of anxiety, and even lead to claustrophobic episodes or even anxiety attacks. Being prepared for these feelings is crucial, and you should never feel embarrassed if you find yourself faced with this obstacle. You’ll be able to approach this step much easier if you once again familiarise yourself with the experience of using the CPAP machine before your first full night of using it. If you find the noise overwhelming, consider adding additional white noise or some relaxing music to your environment to help drown out the CPAP’s noise. Taking some time to meditate and breathe out your anxious feelings is especially recommended.
Eventually, you’ll figure out how to comfortably begin your treatment
Never rush the experience of using your CPAP machine. It’s essential that you slowly warm yourself up to using the complicated but life-changing equipment. Your sleep apnoea can severely damage your health and mental well-being if left untreated, so you deserve a treatment that will get your life back on track.
Some CPAP machines even have a “ramp” up feature that will allow you to comfortably begin your nighttime sessions. Whatever you do, never abruptly stop using your CPAP machine, or taking breaks from it. Doing so can negatively affect your progress in treating your sleep apnoea, and can even worsen it if you stop entirely. If you follow the steps and advice we’ve laid out in this article, you’ll be comfortable using your CPAP machine and treating your sleep apnoea in no time.