Can You Use CPAP While You're Awake?
People usually use a CPAP machine while they are sleeping. However, you may be wondering can you use CPAP therapy while awake? We’re going to clear up the confusion that exists, so you can find out whether there is any benefit to using continuous positive airway pressure while awake.
The short answer is yes, you can. However, needing to do so depends on whether you have sleep apnea during the day or not. Some people have too much carbon dioxide in their blood. A side effect of this is a greater difficulty breathing throughout the course of a day. The root cause of this lies in the malfunction of the brainstem. Most people with sleep apnea will only have trouble breathing at night. For those who also have difficulty breathing when they’re awake, a CPAP can be helpful. Make sure you seek medical advice from your healthcare provider or sleep medicine specialist before you make any decisions. Before prescribing CPAP therapy you will most likely have to do a sleep study to measure your apnea-hypopnea index and a titration study to figure out the correct pressure levels for you.
Day Time Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from the sleep disorder central sleep apnea, you may feel like you want to sleep during the day. You may even get frequent headaches due to having your regular nightly sleep cycle interrupted. Other issues you may notice are an inability to concentrate on anything for too long, as well as general weakness. This may also be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure.
If you are not breathing correctly, you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), be it day or night. If your breathing difficulties during the day are not too extreme, but you still feel it is more challenging to breathe, you can get help from a CPAP machine as well. The airflow pressure will clear the obstruction making it difficult for you to breathe. In order for the CPAP therapy to work correctly, you must have the correct air pressure setting on your CPAP device. It can help you be aware of your breathing and focus on breathing properly so that more oxygen is delivered to your brain.
The results of using a CPAP while awake can be evident in as little as a single day and night. After not breathing well for an extended period of time, you will notice the difference
While you can use a CPAP while awake, you may find that you need to get accustomed to wearing a CPAP mask during the day. The unfamiliar feeling of wearing it in your normal waking state can be disruptive to your day. However, by wearing it during the day, you are also getting practice time that can make it easier to fall asleep while using it at night. In order for you to get fully accustomed to your CPAP treatment, you should choose a CPAP mask that works for you. There are three types of masks you can choose from full-face masks, nasal masks, and nasal pillow masks. Make sure the mask fit and headgear is comfortable and that you are able to move around without any discomfort.
Involuntary non-compliance is something that sometimes occurs at night when you are uncomfortable wearing a CPAP mask. By using a CPAP while you’re awake, you can become more comfortable with it subconsciously, which will help you keep the CPAP mask on properly throughout the entire night.
Practice Makes Perfect
Although a CPAP machine can be a bit bulky for regular use when you’re awake, if you’re able to stay in one place, you will be able to use one. Even if you don’t have breathing problems while awake, you can use a CPAP to help yourself become more well-adjusted to using it at night. If you suffer from allergies or dry mouth, the heated humidifier option on some CPAP machines like the ResMed Airsense 10 may be beneficial for you. If your bed partner is disturbed by your CPAP machine at night, getting your CPAP treatment during the day may be an option for you.
It’s best to get comfortable using a CPAP so that you avoid involuntary non-compliance at night. You want to prevent any damage to your body in the event of not breathing while sleeping. A CPAP machine can be a lifesaver, so using one during the day can help you ensure you are breathing well at night.
Written by The Sleeplay Team