Still Tired With CPAP? This Might Be Why…

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy is a highly effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition characterised by pauses in breathing during sleep. However, despite the proven benefits of CPAP therapy in improving sleep quality and reducing the risks associated with OSA, some individuals may still experience persistent fatigue.

Does that sound like you? If so, keep reading. In this article, we will delve into the potential reasons why you might still feel tired despite undergoing CPAP therapy. By understanding these factors, you can address any challenges and optimise the effectiveness of your treatment.

Reasons you might still be tired even with CPAP therapy (and what you can do about it)

There are several potential reasons why you might still feel tired despite undergoing CPAP therapy:

Your CPAP mask might not be fitted properly

If your CPAP mask doesn’t fit properly, it can lead to air leaks, discomfort, and disrupted sleep.

If you suspect that your CPAP mask is not fitted properly, adjust the straps and try different mask sizes or styles until you achieve a snug and comfortable fit. Proper mask fit is essential to prevent air leaks, discomfort, and disrupted sleep.

Your CPAP mask could be causing discomfort

Even with the right fit, some individuals may experience discomfort or irritation from wearing the CPAP mask, leading to difficulty staying asleep throughout the night.

If your CPAP mask is causing discomfort or irritation, try using mask liners or cushions to minimise pressure points and skin irritation. It’s crucial to address any discomfort to ensure uninterrupted and effective sleep therapy.

You could be experiencing air leaks from your CPAP mask

Air leaks from the mask can reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy by compromising the continuous airflow needed to keep your airways open during sleep.

If you’re experiencing air leaks from your CPAP mask, check for leaks and adjust the mask fit as needed. Consider trying a different mask style or size that provides a better seal to prevent air leaks and maintain therapy effectiveness.

Congestion or dryness could be interfering with your sleep

CPAP therapy can sometimes cause dryness in the nose, mouth, or throat, as well as nasal congestion, which can contribute to discomfort and disturbed sleep patterns.

To address congestion or dryness caused by CPAP therapy, use a heated humidifier with your CPAP machine to add moisture to the air you breathe. This can alleviate nasal dryness, throat irritation, and improve overall sleep comfort.

Your pressure settings might be incorrect

Incorrect pressure settings on your CPAP machine may not adequately address your breathing difficulties during sleep, impacting the overall effectiveness of the therapy.

If you suspect that your CPAP pressure settings are incorrect, consult with your healthcare provider to adjust the pressure settings based on your sleep apnea severity. Proper pressure settings are crucial for effective therapy and symptom management.

You might have an underlying sleep disorder

In some cases, individuals may have coexisting sleep disorders, such as insomnia or restless legs syndrome, which can contribute to ongoing fatigue despite CPAP therapy.

If you suspect you have an underlying sleep disorder such as insomnia or restless legs syndrome, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider for further evaluation and management. Addressing coexisting sleep disorders is important for improving overall sleep quality and reducing fatigue.

You might not be consistent in your CPAP treatment

Consistency is crucial for CPAP therapy to be effective. If you’re not using your CPAP machine consistently or as prescribed, you may not experience the full benefits of the treatment.

To ensure the effectiveness of CPAP therapy, prioritise consistent usage every night as prescribed. Establish a bedtime routine that includes using your CPAP machine and address any barriers to adherence to optimise treatment outcomes.

You might have an underlying medical condition

Certain medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, or hormonal imbalances, can also impact your energy levels and may need to be addressed alongside CPAP therapy.

If you suspect you have an underlying medical condition impacting your energy levels, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can assess your medical history, perform necessary tests, and recommend appropriate management alongside CPAP therapy.

How can I find out the reason that I’m still tired with CPAP?

To determine the underlying reason for persistent fatigue despite using CPAP therapy, it’s essential to consult with a sleep specialist.

A sleep specialist has the expertise and resources to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, which may include overnight sleep studies, to assess the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment and identify any potential issues contributing to your ongoing tiredness. They can also review your CPAP usage data, adjust pressure settings if necessary, and investigate any underlying sleep disorders or medical conditions that may be impacting your energy levels.

Seeking guidance from a sleep specialist ensures a tailored and thorough approach to addressing your specific concerns and optimising the benefits of CPAP therapy for improved sleep quality and overall well-being.

Why is it important to get CPAP-related issues checked as promptly as possible?

Failing to address CPAP-related issues promptly can have significant consequences on both your sleep quality and overall health.

Ignoring issues such as mask leaks, discomfort, or incorrect pressure settings can lead to ineffective CPAP therapy, resulting in persistent sleep apnea symptoms. This can contribute to ongoing fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and decreased cognitive function, impacting your daily activities and quality of life. Moreover, untreated CPAP-related issues may increase the risk of health complications associated with sleep apnea, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Additionally, prolonged discomfort or dissatisfaction with CPAP therapy may lead to decreased treatment adherence and motivation to continue using the device, further exacerbating sleep apnea symptoms and health risks.

Where can I go if I’m struggling with fatigue during CPAP therapy?

At Manse Medical, we can help you manage fatigue and get the most effective CPAP treatment. Book your appointment online, select your preferred clinic, and choose from our list of specialised experts to get the medical care you need.

What are the benefits of CPAP therapy?

CPAP therapy can improve sleep quality, reduce daytime fatigue, enhance cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease and other health complications associated with untreated sleep apnea.

How do I know if I need CPAP therapy?

A sleep study (polysomnography) is typically conducted to diagnose sleep apnea. If you experience symptoms such as loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, daytime sleepiness, or morning headaches, consult a healthcare provider for evaluation.

How do I choose the right CPAP mask?

Choosing the right CPAP mask involves considering factors such as comfort, fit, mask style (nasal, nasal pillows, full-face), and your breathing patterns. Consult with a CPAP provider or sleep specialist to determine the most suitable mask for your needs.

Can CPAP therapy be uncomfortable?

Initially, some individuals may find CPAP therapy uncomfortable or challenging to adjust to. However, with proper mask fit, humidification, and support from healthcare providers, most people adapt to CPAP therapy and experience improved sleep quality and comfort.

How do I clean my CPAP machine?

To clean your CPAP machine, disconnect all components (mask, tubing, and humidifier) and wash them with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry before reassembling. Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning frequency and use distilled water in the humidifier to prevent mineral buildup.

How often should I clean my CPAP equipment?

It’s recommended to clean CPAP equipment, including the mask, tubing, and humidifier, on a regular basis. Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and disinfection, typically weekly or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Can CPAP therapy cure sleep apnea?

CPAP therapy is a highly effective treatment for sleep apnea but does not cure the underlying condition. Continuous usage is necessary to maintain symptom improvement and prevent complications associated with untreated sleep apnea. Regular follow-up with a sleep specialist is essential for monitoring progress and adjusting treatment as needed.

Can I travel with my CPAP machine?

Yes, most CPAP machines are portable and can be easily transported for travel. There are also travel-sized CPAP machines available for added convenience. It’s important to check with your airline regarding their policies for carrying CPAP equipment on board.

Can CPAP therapy be used for children with sleep apnea?

CPAP therapy can be used to treat sleep apnea in children, but the approach may differ from that of adults. Pediatric sleep specialists can determine the appropriate treatment options and settings for children with sleep apnea.