Why am I more tired after using CPAP, you ask. Well, considering that adding a CPAP machine to your sleep routine is very likely going to require some adjustment on your part, being tired after CPAP therapy is a common side effect. You may not realize it at first, but chances are, you are going to experience a period early in the use of CPAP apparatus where you are going to be tired. The upside here is that you are not alone and the situation will change once you get used to CPAP therapy.
So, to answer the question, can CPAP make you more tired, the short answer is yes. However, it doesn’t affect each user in the same way or to the same degree. Depending on your established sleeping habits, you may not require any adjustment time. In this article, we will take a look at what you can do to make the transition to CPAP therapy smooth and as problem-free as possible.
Reasons Why CPAP Treatment Makes You Tired
If you are asking yourself why am I more tired after using CPAP treatment, there are a few possible reasons for this. The key to getting over this hurdle is patience and consistency. Oh, and a positive attitude. As already mentioned, a CPAP machine is something new to your sleep routine.
It isn’t quite the same as adding new sheets or a new pillow. A CPAP machine requires that you wear a mask and the machine will be sending air into your mouth and nose. This is going to feel very different from what you are used to on a normal night of sleeping in bed.
One study conducted on the subject indicates that it can take up to three weeks for daytime sleepiness to subside, although some first-time CPAP users claim it took months to get over the initial lack of sleep. So, when we say CPAP therapy takes time to adjust to, it won’t be just a few days. But don't worry, there are methods and tools to help.
Adjusting To Your CPAP Machine & Mask
When you begin CPAP therapy, there are a few things you should be aware of that will require you to get used to experiencing. They include:
- Sleeping in positions that accommodate the CPAP mask and hose
- The feeling of air pressure on both your face and nose
- Resisting the temptation to remove the face mask during the night
- A different noise in your bedroom coming from the CPAP machine
Many new users of CPAP therapy claim that the toughest thing for them to adjust to is resisting the urge to remove their face masks while sleeping. But these are not the only hurdles first-time CPAP users face. Others find difficulty dealing with:
- Leaks from the CPAP mask
- Dry mouth or nose in the morning
- Gas in the morning from swallowing too much air
- CPAP air pressure issuesr
So, can a CPAP machine make you more tired? It most certainly can. However, chances are that the quality of your nightly sleep was far from perfect before you started CPAP therapy and it has very likely improved since you added a CPAP machine to your nightly routine. Here’s why: the average person suffering from sleep apnea will wake between 15 to 20 times an hour. Individuals without sleep apnea may wake just a few times per hour. CPAP therapy will greatly improve this for you.
How To Use CPAP Therapy To Your Benefit
Why am I more tired after using CPAP therapy? Well, we have already listed some common reasons to answer that question. Now we are going to drill deeper into some ways you can get the most out of your CPAP therapy.
Ways To Adapt To Your CPAP Therapy
One of the hardest parts of CPAP therapy is continuing with it. A study on the subject shows that between 33% and 50% of CPAP patients will quit sleep therapy or not even bother to fill their prescription due to being so tired after CPAP. However, there are a few tricks that can help you to adjust to the strange nature of CPAP therapy. They include:
- Reduce how much caffeine you consume each day
- For nasal relief, try using a decongestant
- Keep your CPAP equipment clean at all times
- Wear your CPAP mask during the day to get accustomed to it
- Try to reduce the amount of napping you do in the evening
Share Your Experience
Another way to answer the question, Why am I more tired after using CPAP is to connect with peers. This can be done by joining either an in-person or online support group. You can find answers and advice just by searching online for “CPAP support group forums” and participating in the conversations. These support groups will provide you with a place to ask questions, gain insight, and meet others who are dealing with the same issues you are related to sleep apnea.
Focus On The Big Picture
One way to stick with your CPAP therapy is to remind yourself from time to time why you are doing it in the first place. Plus, having access to a support network will help to keep you encouraged on those days when you feel as if the effort is not getting you anywhere. Keep your family medical professional in the loop and if you find yourself spiraling into a depression, your doctor can assist in many ways. This may include suggesting you see a therapist.
Tricks To Try
If you are getting tired of asking the same question over and over - Why am I more tired after using CPAP therapy? - there are a few tricks you can try that may help you to ease into CPAP therapy. They include:
- While sitting in front of the television watching a program or movie, put on your CPAP mask and turn your machine on. The more times you do this, the quicker you will get used to feeling the air pressure in the mask and on your face
- Ensure that when you do wear your CPAP mask that the machine is turned on
- Give the ramp feature a try. Many CPAP machines have it. What it does is it will slowly increase the amount of pressurized air allowing you to fall asleep before the machine reaches full pressure
Try CPAP Accessories
There are extra products available for use in conjunction with your CPAP machine. Some of these may assist you in getting used to CPAP therapy. Many of these products have been designed with bringing CPAP users comfort and you are advised to try as many as possible to identify which ones offer you the best solutions.
They include specially designed CPAP pillows with cut-outs, a sleep mask that is gravity-weighted to help ensure a good seal, a sound machine that can help drown out the sound of the CPAP machine, saline spray to help ease nasal discomfort, and aromatherapy to help calm you down to fall asleep quicker. Naturally, it is wise to discuss these options with your doctor for approval.
Speaking Of Your Doctor
Your family physician is someone you should be keeping in regular contact with as you become accustomed to CPAP therapy. It is important that if you do encounter issues while trying to get used to the CPAP machine that you communicate your concerns with your doctor. There won’t be anything your medical professional has not already heard and they will be able to assist you in one of many different ways.
Common issues that tend to impact the CPAP therapy experience range from leaking masks and incorrect air pressure to mask discomfort and noisy machines. Each of these matters has simple solutions. By being honest with your doctor about the problems you are encountering, the sooner a suitable answer can be found to help you focus on why you are adding CPAP therapy to your sleep routine.
Sleep apnea is disruptive enough to a good, healthy night’s sleep. The last thing you need is to have difficulty on top of that related to your CPAP therapy, which is meant to be an effective treatment for sleep apnea. There are many ways that CPAP therapy can leave you feeling more tired than ever. However, you have to be consistent in your nightly sleep therapy to be successful in treating your sleep apnea.
If after a few weeks of trying you still feel tired, there are surgical solutions that may be the best option to remedy your situation. Ideally, surgery would be considered a last resort. This is why you must work hard to get used to your CPAP apparatus. Once you begin CPAP therapy, you must keep it up each night. You cannot take the treatment occasionally. With nightly use, you will speed up the time required to get used to the process. If you encounter difficulty, try the tips noted above, explore other options on how to become accustomed to your new sleep routine, and see your doctor for additional assistance. Good luck.