When someone is newly diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP machine, one of the most common concerns is the noise level. Patients are worried that after years of sleeping in the same bed, their partner will have to go to another bedroom in order to snooze.
Allow us to put your fears to rest
First, thanks to tremendous advances in technology, today’s CPAP machines are almost silent. Gone are the droning, annoying noises that can disrupt sleep and keep people awake at night. Many patients are surprised at how quiet these powerful machines can be.
Second, you can keep your CPAP machine functioning as quietly as possible by regularly inspecting your model. As part of your cleaning routine, you should make sure filters are clear and all connections are secure. If you have any questions about maintenance or if your machine seems louder than usual, our clinical care team is available 24/7 to help you by calling us at 1-877-307-2727.
Third, many partners may actually sleep better with the constant “hum” of a CPAP machine versus intermittent snoring. Simply put, even while we are sleeping, we can still “hear.” We are awoken by sporadic noises – not consistent, steady sounds. Your snoring could actually be worse for your partner’s sleep than a CPAP machine (and if you have been prescribed a machine, you know for certain that snoring is not good for your sleep either).
If you are still concerned about the noise from using a CPAP machine, don’t change your sleeping arrangements just yet. There are some additional strategies that you can try before heading to separate bedrooms.
Allow time to adjust: If you’ve just started CPAP therapy, be aware that it can take several weeks before you truly know how the machine will affect your sleep. During those first few weeks, you are getting used to wearing the mask, properly calibrating the machine settings, and learning the best sleeping positions. You need to get over the “hump” before you can judge how the noise will affect your sleep.
The unusual will become usual: Think about the first time you slept in a new place. Floors creaking, the furnace kicking on, the refrigerator humming – every little sound seemed amplified. But over time, you stopped noticing these noises and slept through the night. A similar effect can occur with your CPAP machine. Once you adjust over time, your brain can start to “block out” the noise as you sleep.
Use physical barriers: Some patients and their partners use ear plugs or barrier pillows to help dampen the noise. We carry the SnoreWedge, a pillow that uses acoustic foam normally found in recording studios to help block snoring or CPAP noise.
Use an audio barrier: More noise to block out noise – it sounds crazy, but it works. White noise machines put out a steady, constant noise that can “mask” any odd or intermittent noises. As previously mentioned, most CPAP machines will have a white noise effect, but some patients may choose to use a special, separate white noise unit.
We hope these strategies will help you and your partner sleep soundly. As always, our clinical care team is here 24/7 at 1-877-307-2727 to assist you.
Nationwide Medical Inc. is the leader in sleep apnea support and CPAP/BiLevel machines and supplies. We have more than a decade of experience serving 100,000 patients with 24/7 clinical support. You can reach us at www.nationwidemedical.com or call 1-877-307-2727 (CPAP).