The sleepless nights, difficulty concentrating and physical side effects like headaches – these things may all be concerns of the past once you are diagnosed with and start your therapy for sleep apnea. However, just because you are prescribed a solution doesn’t mean it won’t take a little getting used to.
Just like any other physical adjustment – like having braces, wearing glasses, etc. – using products designed to manage this disease can take some time to become comfortable with.
If you are still dealing with an adjustment period, here are three steps that may help you.
1) Assess personal habits and changes
For some, there could be a change in the effectiveness of therapy when other lifestyle factors are inconsistent. For instance, if you are consuming more alcoholic beverages, notice a fluctuation in your weight or have recently started or stopped taking medications, these things may have an impact.
Discuss any of the above modifications with your physician.
2) Discuss your difficulties
Sometimes we might feel self-conscious and not want to wear a sleep mask in front of others because it seems silly. However, just as if you took a medicine or used other kinds of medical assistance, there is nothing strange about treating a health condition of this sort.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable about the look of the device, consider discussing these feelings with a personal sleep apnea coach or your loved ones, if you feel you can do so.
3) Give the therapy a test run during the day
Often, the issue isn’t being socially uncomfortable with using a breathing aid for slumber; it is more the physical feel of it. If this is so, you should slowly introduce the item into your habits to make it a normal part of your routine.
For instance, try wearing the mask first in the daytime, when there is no pressure. First, hold the mask up to your face so you can get used to the feel of the air blowing out. Then, simply breathe with it on to become accustomed to the sensation. Keep this up until it feels like second nature.
You can do this often, and it can be smart to do so while reading or watching TV so you’re not even thinking about it.
Go online to websites like WakeUpToSleep.com and others to learn more about how you can make this transition easier for yourself or a loved one.