If you’ve just started using CPAP therapy, you might find it hard to believe that there will come a day when the thought of spending a single night without your CPAP machine is anxiety producing. At first, treating your sleep apnea with continuous positive airways pressure therapy via a CPAP machine is a chore. You’ve got to get used to the humming of your machine, the forced air blowing against your face through a long plastic tube, and snug sleep apnea mask. There’s no way around it: the whole CPAP thing is weird in the beginning.
After a week or so of use, most CPAP users say they’ve gotten comfortable with their equipment. And in no time at all, most say that they couldn’t live without out it, metaphorically and literally. They’re not snoring anymore or waking up hundreds of times a night feeling like they’re choking. Once they’ve learned to tolerate therapy, learning they may have to spend a night without the machine truly makes them uneasy.
What’s So Rough About a Night Away?
You might think that most people would be thrilled to go without their CPAP machine. No tubes or masks strapped to their foreheads, no pressurized air down their throats, sounds good, doesn’t it? The fact is that once most sleep apnea sufferers have discovered the energizing effects of CPAP therapy, they never want to go back to life before. A night without CPAP therapy means a night with snoring and hundreds of wakings. It means having dry mouth and a terrible headache in the morning instead of feeling well rested. And mostly, a night without CPAP therapy means there are going to be moments while asleep where you simply stop breathing. It’s a terrifying thought. What if you fail to start breathing again?
How to Get Used to the Idea of a Night Without CPAP
Before getting nervous about experiencing an apnea episode that never ends, remind yourself that you likely had sleep apnea for years before ever investing in a CPAP. Of the hundred of times you’ve stopped breathing before, your brain has always been strong enough to initiate normal breathing patterns. For most, the deadly cardiovascular effects of sleep apnea are related to long term treatment neglect.
That isn’t to say that if you’ve got anxiety over finding out that you’ll be spending a night away from your CPAP is unfounded. Whether it’s for work or play, a night without your CPAP means you know you’ll likely suffer a bit from those small, annoying adverse effects of sleep apnea, like headaches and sore throat. If you’re going without your CPAP machine for a night avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke. Try to follow your nighttime routine as closely as possible and plan for some trouble falling asleep. In the morning, have a cup of warm tea to ease dry mouth and sore throat and take an over the counter pain relief medication for headache.
Most importantly, remind yourself that a night away is okay. You’ll be back on track tomorrow. You’ve got a long life of sleep apnea treatment ahead of you.
Stay Prepared for Nights Away
Although we suggest that all CPAP users have a back up plan, making sure to have a CPAP battery pack, extra sleep apnea mask, and extra cord for their CPAP machine is especially important to those with severe sleep apnea. You’ll find battery packs providing eight to fourteen hours of charge and all your other CPAP needs from the experts at Breatheeasycpap.com.