Man sleeping with CPAP device on

A leader in managing and treating the patient’s Sleep Apnea

Solving Sleep Apnea with a CPAP Device

When diagnosed with sleep apnea, Sleep South will provide a support program for patients prescribed a Positive Airway Pressure device with a Continuous positive airway pressure ventilator (CPAP). A CPAP is a form of positive airway pressure ventilator which applies mild air pressure on a continuous basis to keep the airways continuously open. It is very important to follow the guidelines of the therapy and wear your CPAP device continuously during sleep to best combat the negative effects of sleep apnea.

Sleep Therapy Tips

Fewer than 50% of patients stick with their prescribed sleep therapy. Here are some tips to help you stick with your therapy and have the best experience with your PAP device.

Stick with it!

Be patient and use your PAP device consistently. It takes time to get used to wearing it, but once adjusted, you will begin to realize how well it works. Keep in mind the importance building up to using the PAP device every time you sleep.

Find the right equipment especially the proper mask

It is important to find the mask that works for you by finding the mask’s proper size and style, or finding the mask that accommodates mouth-breathers, side sleepers, those with allergies, etc. It could also mean using cushions and liners to improve comfort, eliminate leaks, and ultimately improve the therapy’s effectiveness.

Keep Calm

Learn to relax while beginning your CPAP device use. Since your body was used to interrupted sleep for so long, don’t expect miracles overnight. First time users find that short sessions are easier to manage in the beginning of therapy. Many people get used to their mask by napping with your CPAP or wearing it while you watch TV or read, then building up to full overnight sessions.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Do your best with cleaning your PAP equipment especially where your mask touches your face or there is water or humidification. Mask cushions should be cleaned daily along with CPAP tubing. Tubing should also be cleaned a couple times a week at minimum. Cleaning the water chamber should also be done frequently and many can just be put into the dishwasher as long as the rubber gasket is removed.

Sleep Comfortably

Adjusting how you sleep and where the PAP tube resides on the bed also can make a difference with comfort. A PAP tube can sometimes get in the way especially if you typically toss and turn during sleep. If that is the case, you may want to purchase a pillow specifically designed for sleeping with CPAP.


A humidifier can help prevent your nasal passages from drying out. A glass of water and some saline spray by the bed are also useful.

Replace parts as suggested

Parts of your CPAP mask will wear out with use causing leaks and making therapy less effective. When the mask needs to be tightened too much, it’s time for a new cushion and headgear. Keep tubing is good working order with a spare ready to go in case of a tear.