If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or repeated breathing interruptions in your sleep, your doctor may recommend that you wear a CPAP mask when you sleep. The CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure system, is designed to maintain air flow through your airways to keep them open and functional.

The mask can be difficult to adjust to, though. Here are three tips to help you understand and adjust to the use of your CPAP.

Understand How a CPAP Mask Works

If the machine feels foreign and unfamiliar to you, it’s going to be harder for you to stick with it. It is in your best interest to understand not only what it is, but what it does. The more you understand about how your CPAP machine works, the more you are likely to understand its benefits and how to make it work for you.

Have the company representative show you the settings and the mask when the equipment is delivered. Ask about the current settings so that you know what the pressure settings mean. Your doctor will recommend a specific pressure setting based on your sleep study, and that’s the figure that the company will use when setting up the machine for you.

Make the CPAP Mask Your Own

Treatment with a CPAP machine isn’t a single, straight-forward solution. These machines must be personalized to each patient. As a result, you’ll need to take an active role in making the equipment your own. Talk to your doctor about the models that you have to choose from so that you can pick the one that will suit your needs.

Some of the newer CPAP models offer additional features. For example, if you live in an area with dry air, you may want to ask your doctor about a CPAP that humidifies the air. The more you know about what your options are, the more in-control you’ll feel about your care.

Don’t settle for an uncomfortable mask, either. Have your doctor, like at Corner Medical, show you several styles and sizes to find the one that’s most comfortable for you. After all, you need to be able to relax and sleep with it on. Comfort is important because even the slightest discomfort or irritation can disturb the sleep you’re trying to improve.

Remember the Health Benefits

If you find yourself struggling with the adjustment period, one of the things that can help you get through it is to remember the benefits that you’re going to be getting from it. Poor sleep quality can contribute to health problems, including blood pressure issues, diabetes, and more. By taking the step to wear the CPAP and improve your sleep, you’ll be reducing your risk of these long-term conditions.

Although there are some cases of sleep apnea that won’t require the use of a CPAP for more consistent breathing, if your doctor has prescribed one, you’ll notice a distinct difference in your sleep when you wear it. Face the adjustment period with these tips in mind and you’ll find yourself enjoying a more restful night’s sleep, which leads to more peaceful and comfortable mornings as well.