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What should I expect when I start CPAP therapy?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.  When you first wear a mask system with a flow of air blowing at you, there will be some things to get used to.

Soon you will be more familiar with the equipment and will be able to settle in to the therapy.

Here we have provided the most common experiences with therapy so that you know this is all typical.  Of courseb, we encourage you to discuss your therapy with us so we can help you get settled sooner.

  • You have been sleep deprived for quite some time, possibly years. This therapy will work, but it can take time to recover from the sleep you’ve lost. Be patient, ask for help, try it every night, hang in there!
  • If the air makes you feel uncomfortable or anxious, practice with your system while you’re awake. Watch TV or read. Once you’re distracted you’ll find you are more relaxed and the air pressure will be less noticeable.
  • If you can’t fall asleep with it the first few nights, that’s okay. Practice more in the evening so that you’re relaxed with it when you go to bed. Don’t lay awake for hours with it on, take it off and try again the next night.
  • It may take time to work up to more than 4 hours/night. Some people sleep through, others don’t. If you wake up and you’ve pulled it off, put it back on and go back to sleep.
  • As you move around there’s a good chance your mask will leak air. You may subconsciously pull at the mask as well. If there’s a leak, adjust your mask. You’ll eventually do this without even thinking about it.
  • Some people feel a little groggy in the morning after using CPAP. That’s a good sign that you’re getting some deep sleep!
  • Some people have vivid dreams, that can be a little unexpected, but another good sign!

Eventually  you will start to notice your energy improving, your daytime sleepiness will improve, you may even look different to your family and co-workers. 

Consider your own personal symptoms, before you started, and watch for the changes.  They may be dramatic, they may be subtle, but you will be physically and mentally healthier for getting a good night’s sleep!

Please refer to our Troubleshooting Guidelines if something doesn’t feel quite right or give your therapist a call.  We are here to help you sleep better!*