The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine

Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Therapy Tips

When You Need Your PAP the Most

You may find that youíre able to fall asleep initially with your PAP mask but you wake up during the night and have trouble falling back asleep. Donít give in to the temptation to remove the mask for the rest of the night. Sleep Apnea tends to be worse during REM sleep and you have most of your REM during the last third of the night. That means that the early morning hours are the most critical for PAP use.

Reducing Excessive Condensation

Rain out (the buildup of water in the mask or tube) is caused by large a difference between the temperature inside the tube and the outside the tube. If you use a heated humidifier and like to keep your bedroom temperature low, try putting the tube under the covers Ė this will prevent the build up of condensation. Note, it is normal to have some condensation inside the mask when you wake up in the morning. Excessive moisture is only an issue if there is so much water building up that water is literally dripping onto your nose or there is water sloshing in the tube.

Tube Management

An easy way to keep the connector tube out of the way is to loop the tube through the headboard. If you donít have a headboard, you can wedge the tube between the mattress and the wall, but be sure to give yourself enough slack so the tube doesnít get pulled every time you switch positions.

Reducing Skin Irritations

A good way to reduce skin irritation is to have two masks so you can alternate them periodically to give your skin a break. Be sure to select different styles so the masks come in contact with different areas around the nose. Donít over-tighten the mask Ė it should fit just snugly enough not to leak when you switch position. Be sure you clean your mask regularly using a soap free of dyes and perfumes.

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