Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common and treatable sleep disorder. However, if left untreated, it poses serious health risks, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. People who suffer from sleep apnea can find relief through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Effects of CPAP therapy are often life-changing, but the patient needs to commit to treatment.
CPAP Compliance – How Many Hours Per Night Should CPAP Be Used?
CPAP therapy has proven to be the most successful treatment available for sleep apnea. However, its effects are directly related to treatment compliance. When patients use their machine regularly, they typically report life-changing improvements in their sleep quality. Getting your sleep apnea under control can also improve health overall, but continued use is the only way to take advantage of these benefits.
If you’re wondering, “how many hours per night should CPAP be used?” the answer is, for the entire night while you sleep, ideally 7+ hours. CPAP compliance measures how many hours and nights you use your therapy and if you use it often enough for effective treatment. Conversely, noncompliance means you do not use your machine as often as you should or for long enough when you sleep.
Studies show that people who use their machine for longer times each night tend to have less daytime sleepiness and depression and fewer heart issues than people who use their machine for shorter times. Research also indicates that at least six hours of usage is necessary to reduce the health risks associated with OSA.
Tips to Improve CPAP Compliance
Maintaining your CPAP usage is crucial to managing your sleep apnea successfully. However, if you’re like many people who are new to sleep therapy, you may have trouble complying with the treatment. Adapting to sleeping with headgear or having difficulty using your machine at the appropriate settings can be challenging. Noncompliance happens for various reasons, but it is critical that you stick with your treatment. You can avoid some of the pitfalls that often lead to noncompliance with the following tips:
- Educate yourself on CPAP equipment
- Be prepared to make adjustments
- Get the best equipment for you
- Make sure your mask seals well
- Keep track of your data
- Have realistic expectations
As you become more comfortable with CPAP therapy, it will become easier to use. And, of course, the more you use your machine, the more benefits from the treatment you’ll experience. At Advanced Homecare, we offer a wide variety of CPAP supplies to help you sleep better at night. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, contact us today to learn more about sleep therapy.