Back view of a CPAP machine, with one hand replacing a filter, one hand spraying cleaning solution on the water tank, and two hands splayed to present three option of masks.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your CPAP Machine

For anyone new to using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea, I wanted to share a few tips that will make it easier for you to deal with your new machine. These are my CPAP tips to get the most out of your sleep apnea machine.

CPAP tips for sleep apnea

Trying different masks

First of all, you should try on several different masks. My sleep provider recommended I use a full mask at first, but I later found out that a nose mask was the better option for me.

I find the nose mask to be more comfortable. This is the most comfortable for me. You shouldn’t accept the first option that your provider suggests. There are many different masks on the market now, so try a few out.

Changing filters

Make sure you change your filter as this can get quite dirty and you won’t get air that’s as clean. I make sure that I change this once per month. Your sleep provider can even set up your machine to remind you when to change the filter.

This simple maintenance tip can easily be overlooked as you might forget to change it. Your provider can give you more filters when you run out, so make sure you change the filter on an ongoing basis for the cleanest air for your machine.

Checking tank for leaks

The plastic that most water tanks are built from is not the best. Leaks from the tank or the seal are common. I had a complete failure of my water tank last year. It’s important to check your tank each time you fill it up to determine if there are any slow leaks.

A slow leak can easily turn into a flood on your nightstand if you’re not careful as this is what happened to me. Put down a plastic sheet or use a tray under the machine to catch any potential water that might seep out of the tank.

Cleaning around the water tank

Make sure you clean around the water tank. Ask your provider about what you should use to clean the debris, as your machine may require something specific. I use water and a bit of rubbing alcohol to remove the debris buildup on my unit.

Trying different sleep positions

Try various sleep positions to see which 1 works. For me, I tend to sleep facing my machine as this eliminates issues with the hose for the most part. You want to ensure that the hose won’t snag on anything so keep the area around your nightstand clear of things such as clothes, books, and so on.

My best advice: establish a habit

The best advice for using your machine is to actually use it. Far too many users give up when they haven’t given the machine enough of a chance to do its job. I’ll be honest, I’d throw the thing in the trash if I could.

I use my machine consistently because it makes me feel better when I wake up. By establishing a habit, you’re going to get the most out of sleep therapy. Your machine can and will become your best friend if you give it a chance.

Take care of your CPAP and it will take care of you. Talk to your provider about different mask options. Change your filter, try different sleep positions, and watch out for water leaks. Above all, use your machine on a consistent basis and you’ll see it’s the best investment you could possibly ever make for your condition.

Do you have any CPAP tips for sleep apnea? Please share your story or comment below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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