Simple tips to promote restful sleep
Create an environment of rest and relaxation. Reduce the distraction of outside noises by using a white noise device. Block light, a cue that tells the brain it’s time to wake up. Keep the room cool, between 60 and 75°F.
Establish a soothing nighttime routine. Engage in relaxing activities an hour before bedtime, avoiding stress and stimulation.
Stick to a schedule. Set your body’s clock by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
Avoid napping. Frequent or long naps can disrupt the body’s ability to sleep at night. Limit naps to 30 minutes or less.
Exercise early. To fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, exercise at least 30 minutes most days, no later than two or three hours before bedtime.
Eat and drink with sleep in mind. Avoid eating large meals within two hours of bedtime to decrease the risk of gastric reflux and discomfort. But, never go to bed hungry, choosing light snacks when necessary. Reduce evening liquids to minimize waking to use the bathroom.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants, making it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid both 6 – 8 hours before bedtime and during sleep hours if awoke.
Avoid alcohol. Limit alcohol to two or less drinks per day, and avoid it within four hours of bedtime. Alcohol may help induce sleep, but it also increases awakenings and decreases quality of sleep.
Unplug. Remove electronic devices from your bedroom to reinforce it as a place for sleep. The light from electronics hinders production of melatonin, a hormone that impacts your sleep/wake cycles, while a suspenseful movie, phone call or email can tense the body and mind. Additionally, avoid clock watching!
Don’t take your thoughts to bed with you. Stress can leave your mind racing with to-do lists, worry or replaying events from the day. Journaling or creating a list before bedtime can save you from sleepless nights.
Dealing with a changing work-sleep schedule? Take short, scheduled naps before your shift to promote alertness. Expose yourself to bright light for the first 3 – 6 hours of your shift to promote the body’s wake cycle, and avoid bright light on your way home to prepare for sleep. Avoid stimulus and get to sleep as soon as possible.
Following these tips will improve your chances of achieving restful sleep. However, some sleep/wake symptoms could signify the presence of disorders such as apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy or other clinical sleep problem. If your sleep difficulties don’t improve through healthy sleep habits, contact your primary care physician or a sleep specialist.
Maintaining your CPAP/BIPAP Unit
- Wipe the unit with a damp cloth and mild dish detergent
- Allow the unit to dry before plugging in
- Wash daily with mild soapy water. Never clean with alcohol!
- Replace cushions monthly
- Hand wash weekly with laundry detergent and let air dry
- Replace every six months
- Wash weekly in mild soapy water and rinse. Hang to dry.
- Replace every 3 months
Cool or Warm Humidifier
- Wash weekly in mild soapy water
- Once a month, soak humidifier for 20 minutes in a solution containing:
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 Cups distilled water
- Rinse well with warm water
- Replace every 6 months
- For Respironics© machines:
- Gray filter:
- Wash weekly with soapy water. Rinse well and allow to dry before placing back in unit
- Replace every 6 months
- White filter:
- For ResMed© and Fisher & Paykel© machines:
- White filter
- Throw away and replace monthly
How often to replace CPAP supplies
Many CPAP and BiPAP users don't realize that most of the supplies associated with sleep therapy are designed to be disposable. Masks, tubing, filters, and headgear are not designed to last extreme amounts of time, and using them past their recommended life span can actually jeopardize your CPAP therapy. Delicate silicone mask cushions can develop leaks, clogged filters can allow dust and pollen to be delivered into your airway, and over-stretched headgear can require extreme tightening, causing pressure point pain.
Click here to view the Recommended Replacement Schedule for CPAP and BiPAP Supplies, based on information from Medicare and private insurance companies.
Contact your insurance company for coverage details when replacing CPAP supplies.
For resources, support and additional information:
Parkview Center for Healthy Living
Toll free: (844) 835-0003 or (260) 672-6500
National Sleep Foundation – www.sleepfoundation.org