How to naturally improve your sleep! – with or Without CPAP therapy.
If you want to sleep well, creating and maintaining healthy sleep hygiene rituals will support you in getting the best night of sleep possible. Even if you have started on CPAP therapy, you are designed to follow certain cues, such as cool temperatures and dim light, into sleep. To understand your sleep patterns, you might find it helpful to keep a sleep diary for a couple of weeks, noting exactly when you wake and sleep, when you exercise, and when you take in caffeine or medications. The record keeping can help you see what might be interfering with getting a solid eight hours.
Sleep scientists recommend the following guidelines for achieving a good night of slumber as well as a few of our own tips if using CPAP therapy:
TIP 1: Keep to a consistent sleep schedule
Got to bed and get up at the same time each day. Yes, that includes weekends and holidays. Also, make sure you get a minimum of seven hours a night to support the full function of your sleep cycle.
TIP 2: Practice wearing your CPAP mask
If you are new to CPAP therapy, practice wearing your Full Face or Nasal mask or Nasal Pillows at short intervals throughout the day will help you transition to sleep a lot easier.
TIP 3: Establish a soothing bedtime routine
Take a hot shower or soak in a bath, read a book, listen to restful music, meditate, stretching or yoga, watch a light-hearted television show (although, this is not the time for watching a pulse-pounding thriller on TV or arguing with your spouse). Also dimming your household lighting to create a more relaxing atmosphere.
TIP 4: Avoid electronic devices prior to bedtime
The glow from electronic devices in particular, will keep you awake for longer and needs to be avoided at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. They delay the body’s internal body clock and suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
TIP 5: Avoid large or spicy meals , caffeine, nicotine and other stimulates prior to bedtime
Big meals can bring on indigestion, whilst fluids just before bed can mean late-night trips to the bathroom, this includes alcohol. It may make you drowsy at first, but most certainly will break up your sleep later throughout the night. You can gain loads of guidance and inspiration on a healthy sleep diet from our blog article Eat Well, Sleep Well: How Diet Affects Your Sleep.
TIP 6: Exercise regularly
Regular moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep (deep sleep). This is where your brain and body have the chance to rejuvenate. Exercise also helps to stabilise your mood, decompress the mind but also supports your body being supple. We break down all of the sleep health benefits in our blog article What Exercise is Best For Your Sleep.
TIP 7: Make sure your bedroom is exclusive to sleep (and smooching)
Your bedroom is a sacred place for resting. Support conditioning your brain to know when it’s time to fall asleep. Avoid establishing a disconnection of sleep, by working on your bed or attention-grabbing things to do in your bedroom.
TIP 8: Keep your bedroom cool & dark
As bedtime approaches, your body temperature naturally drops as a signal to slow down and rest. A bedroom temperature between 15.5°C and 19°C will reinforce your body’s natural instinct to sleep. Assure your windows are covered, and then in the morning, open your blinds or curtains, to expose yourself to bright lighting to reset your body clock. If you are using your CPAP humidifier and experience condensation in your tubing or mask, also known as ‘rainout’, you can solve this problem with covering your tubing with our custom, Australian made CPAP hose sleeve.
TIP 9: Prepare your CPAP machine ready for use
Have your DS-6 Auto CPAP machine set up ready for your sleep apnea needs. This includes filling your humidifier tank with distilled water, and having your humidifier and ramp settings customised for you. The ramp mode will start your device on a low pressure and gradually increase the air pressure over time, allowing you to fall asleep before the air pressure reaches its highest setting.
TIP: 10 Get up if you are tossing and turning for an extended period of time
If you cannot sleep, getting out of bed to do something restful like reading in a dim light or listening to relaxing music for 20 minutes or so, before returning to bed will help you nod off.
Using these simple, natural tips can have powerful impact on the quality of your sleep. It is so worth adapting, even subtle changes where possible, as waking in the morning feeling more in tune with yourself is ultimately what we are all seeking.