Sleep Better, Live Longer ™

If your CPAP therapy is making you anxious, try this step-by-step CPAP desensitization process.

Are you having difficulty getting used to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment? Is the mask or air pressure making you feel claustrophobic or anxious? Breathing with a CPAP machine is different than breathing on your own and may take some time to adjust to. Just remember – you’re in control of the process and there are steps you can take to feel more comfortable.

If CPAP therapy is making you anxious, try this step-by-step CPAP desensitization process. Do each step for five days (or until you no longer have anxiety) before moving to the next step.
  • Step 1: Attach the mask to your sleep apnea device, and switch the unit on. Wear the CPAP mask at home while awake for one hour each day. Practice breathing through the mask while watching television, reading, or performing another sedentary activity that keeps your mind off your anxiety.  
    If you are still feeling anxious, try using the ramp feature, which gradually increases air pressure over a 15 to 30 period.
  • Step 2: Use the CPAP during scheduled one hour naps at home.
  • Step 3: Use CPAP during the initial 3-4 hours of nocturnal sleep.
  • Step 4: Use CPAP through the entire night of sleep.

If this doesn’t work, contact Graymark Healthcare about relaxation techniques or changing to a different type of device that automatically adjusts the pressure while you're sleeping. Sleep devices that supply bi-level positive airway pressure (BiLevel PAP) are available and provide more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.

Patients who can’t tolerate CPAP therapy often feel better after switching to BiLevel PAP therapy. We are here to make any adjustments you need so that you can start sleeping and get back to living your life.