If you use your CPAP machine in hot weather, you understand how challenging it can be. After all, it’s challenging to sleep well when it’s hot outside. And because sleep apnea already reduces the quality of sleep you get, hot weather just makes things worse.
Going without your CPAP machine is not a good idea, so how can you get its best benefits when the mercury rises? Keep reading for some useful advice, plus info on the best CPAP mask to help beat the heat.
How Humidity Affects Your Sleep Apnea
Thermoregulation is key to a good night’s sleep. How does it work? Well, your body temperature drops a little at night to conserve energy. Core temperature in your head, torso, and abdomen lowers a little by boosting blood flow to your extremities. That’s why you sleep better when bedroom temperatures are a little cooler: They help support this thermoregulation process.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that humidity impacts sleep quality. Heat and humidity together disrupt thermoregulation, which can lead to fatigue. And if your core body temperature can’t decrease as it should, you can’t enter slow-wave sleep phases that help regenerate your body and mind. And if you have sleep apnea, hot weather can impact you even more. Besides preventing your body from reaching its ideal core temperature, heat and humidity can also make it harder to breathe.
Does My CPAP Adjust To Drier Conditions?
Many CPAP machines come with built-in humidifiers. These devices help ensure that there’s plenty of moisture to prevent your air passageways from drying out. That means less dry mouth and nose, plus fewer instances of chapped lips and nosebleeds. But too much humidity can lead to rainout, which leaves your face damp in the morning.
Balancing your CPAP’s humidity levels to function optimally is key, especially when weather conditions change. You can do a few things to help yourself at night when it gets hot outside:
- Keep your bedroom cooler. Aim for a room temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Turn your CPAP humidifier down to avoid condensation buildup inside your mask.
- Add cold distilled water to your CPAP’s humidifier.
- Use a mask liner, which forms a barrier between the mask’s surfaces and your face.
- Switch to a different mask style, such as a P10 CPAP mask.
How can an alternative CPAP mask style make a difference? Also called nasal pillow masks, P10 masks cover a smaller area of your face. They sit at the entrance of your nostrils and channel air directly into the nasal passages. P10 masks also weigh less than full-face versions. If you toss and turn a lot at night, you can get a model with flexible headgear to help it stays put.
Finding the Best CPAP Mask for Hot Weather
Your CPAP machine is designed to help you get better sleep. During hot weather, some additional practices help support sleep hygiene while using your CPAP. Don’t forget to read CPAP mask reviews while you shop and evaluate price, features and quality before you buy.