Finding the ideal spot to place your CPAP machine can be a challenge for minimalists and maximalists alike. Like taking home a piece of furniture or art, finding a “place” for your CPAP can be exciting, but also daunting. You’ve already gone through the process of getting tested for obstructive sleep apnea and picking out the perfect machine, but now you have to find a perch where your CPAP system can sit safely – perhaps away from the mind’s eye, but certainly away from harms way. Instinctually, you will most likely put your CPAP on your nightstand next to your bed, but here are some things to keep in mind when you do.
Airflow Is Imperative
CPAP machines work by drawing in air from the surrounding atmosphere. There is a small filter that blocks out harmful allergens and pollutants, which allows for a steady stream of unadulterated air to be processed. This is why you want to make sure there is plenty of room around the CPAP system for airflow to be utilized. Some specialists say that you should keep your system six inches away from all obstructions – including walls, nightstand lamps, picture frames and even your Dan Brown and Deepak Chopra books. Other people say that ten inches is the safest. Regardless, you want there to be a proper buffer zone around your CPAP to allow for maximum airflow.
Inclines Are Not Your Friend
Anytime that your CPAP system is tilted or at an incline, it will have a harder time operating. This is especially the case if you use a humidification system. If a humidifier is placed at an angle, it may not work as efficiently and you may increase the risk for a spill that will be less than pleasant to clean up in the middle of the night. Not only that, but the humidifier may misread the water levels and your treatment could be negatively impacted. It will also help to keep your CPAP system relatively leveled with your bed to ensure that you don’t have any issue with excess condensation building up in your hose. You also want to make sure that your hose has plenty of slack – otherwise it will limit your freedom of mobility. This is where your Dan Brown books can come in handy – if you don’t have a high enough nightstand, you can use them to prop up your CPAP.
Watch Out For Dog Tails and Babies
Have a rambunctious dog that tends to get overly excited to go on a walk in the morning? Have a baby that tends to get up before you do and grab anything that looks like it would be fun to play with? Both these scenarios can spell trouble for your CPAP – the crash to the floor alone can kill the whole system; water from the humidifier can get in and fry the unit. If your CPAP is at risk for getting knocked over, you may want to find a way to make the system more secure – earthquake putty can work wonders; you can also make sure the system is out of harm’s way by lifting it a few inches higher and away from the bed. If you are feeling handy, you could enclose the CPAP in a drawer or cabinet, but remember: you have to make sure there is plenty of room for air to flow freely and you want to make sure that you can plug everything in safely.
When it comes down to it, finding the ideal place for your CPAP machine is easy. All you have to remember is that you need to keep the system at least six inches away from any obstructions that could impede airflow, you need to keep your system leveled (especially if you use a humidifier), and you want to keep your CPAP out of the way of swinging dog tails and curious babies. In the end, finding the perfect place for your CPAP is integral to getting the best CPAP treatment and effectively beating the symptoms of your obstructive sleep apnea.