Coping with Change for Sleep Apnea Patients
Change can be tough, and starting CPAP therapy can feel overwhelming. If you've just been diagnosed with sleep apnea (or if you just need a little boost) you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in coping with the frustrations of sleeping with a CPAP machine.
You Are Not Alone
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million people suffer from sleep apnea in the United States. The American Journal of Epidemiology estimates that nearly 26 percent of adults between the ages of 30 and 70 have sleep apnea. It's thought that at least 1 in 10 children has at least some sort of a sleep disorder.
Focus on the Positive
It is normal to feel anger, denial, and depression after a sleep apnea diagnosis. The reality of needing to hook yourself to a machine every night can feel very limiting. And, yes, it does feel like you have a cold, unforgiving octopus stuck to your face, but remember that this cold, unforgiving octopus is literally giving you life.
At its core, the purpose of a CPAP machine is to improve your quality of sleep. That, in turn, will improve your quality of life. You'll be more rested, have more energy, and be more mentally alert.
Severe sleep apnea can actually cause damage to parts of the brain that can affect general cognition and your mood. Using a CPAP machine can help reduce and reverse said damage. Studies have also shown that using a CPAP machine can help decrease blood pressure in patients diagnosed with hypertension and sleep apnea.
Many Sleep Apnea Patients are Also Overweight
Using a machine and being well rested can give you more energy and focus throughout the day. Invest some of that energy into a workout plan! Not only will you lose weight and likely reduce the severity of your apnea events, but being active improves your life in myriad other ways, as well.
And remember that your sleep apnea doesn't simply affect yours but your partner's quality of sleep, as well. A CPAP machine may look un-sexy, but a good night's sleep for both partners may work wonders for a relationship.
If something happens to your CPAP machine, you may be inclined to panic that you won't be able to sleep until the issue is resolved. Keep extra parts and spare masks on hand if you can, and have a backup battery in case of a power outage. This can help reduce anxiety in the face of an emergency situation.
Don't forget to pack a machine when you travel, too! Many patients choose to have a stay-at-home machine and a portable one. Newer machines are lightweight and travel easily.
Most can be taken with you internationally with the proper outlet adapters. They can fit in your checked baggage but, like most breathing machines, need security clearance to be taken in carry-on bags (always double check with the airline).
Get the Best Equipment for Your Needs
Talk with your doctor and your insurance provider about your options - CPAP or BiPAP? Manual or automatic? What kind of mask? Respshop has a selection of more than 1,300 products, fast shipping, and friendly customer service to make your shopping experience as easy as possible. We know this can be overwhelming - we're here to help.