Relaxation Techniques for CPAP Therapy

There are countless reasons why individuals experience stress.   However, for most, a good night’s sleep can help stress melt away. It can also leave us feeling revitalized to take on the day’s challenges. For patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, additional stress may be added due to uncertainty over the quality of their sleep. When sleeping can already be a challenge, OSA patients truly need to be in the right mindset when it’s bedtime. Whether you’re stressed about in your life or about getting a good night’s sleep, there are relaxation techniques to help calm your body for bedtime.

Meme with incense burner and the words "Just relax and breathe wtih CPAP therapy."

Start your bedtime routine an hour or so before it’s actually time to go to sleep by doing a relaxing activity. A favorite suggestion is to curl up with a good book. Watching television can also be a relaxing activity, but some find that staring at a screen stimulates your mind.  If so, turning off the TV an hour before bedtime should prove to be helpful. Also, avoiding foods or drinks that include sugar or caffeine is a must. That’s because they can ramp your body up rather than calm it down. 

As the desired bedtime approaches, it may be beneficial for you to take a nice hot shower or bath. The warm water eases any tension you might be feeling. Additionally, the rise and fall in body temperature can help you unwind. Using lavender-scented soap has been known to be a calming and relaxing scent. 

Relaxation exercises such as yoga or breathing exercises can decrease anxiety and improve your chances of getting a restful night of sleep. With the right stretches, you can open up your breathing passages while simultaneously decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure. If you are new to yoga, start out by performing a cat pose (marjaryasana). You can do this by getting on your hands and knees, and then curving your back upwards towards the ceiling. This pose is most efficient when your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. 

After holding cat pose for a few seconds, switch to the child’s pose (balasana) by staying on your knees, and then lowering your bottom so that you’re sitting on your feet. Then, lean forward so that your forehead is resting on the ground. Breathe deeply and allow your body to continue to calm down. Finally, try corpse pose (savasana) to achieve maximum relaxation. Simply lie on your back with your arms slightly off to the side and your palms facing upwards. Allow your ankles to fall outwards. For the best results, stay in this position while breathing deeply for five minutes.

While performing these poses, you may also want to practice doing the hissing breath (ujjayi pranayama) to stimulate oxygen flow to your brain, open your lungs, and potentially improve the symptoms of your sleep apnea. Inhale calmly, but sharply, through your mouth so that you can feel air rushing across your windpipe. Then, exhale through your mouth as though you were trying to use your breath to fog a window. By including these tips in your bedtime routine, you’re more inclined to have a restful, stress-free sleep. 

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes.

Chris Vasta CPAP Expert & President at The CPAP Shop

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


3 Comments Leave new

  • Marian Fernandes

    My dear Chris Vasta,Greetings! I am using CPAP Machine for the last 18 Months of ResMed Company-Australia. I am in Mumbai -I have been using a Meditation- wherein I have to breathe continuously-for the duration of the Meditation-What is your View on this?-I am Male 77 years of age.

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