How do you keep your PAP progress going?
Besides dedication to proper sleep and your new PAP device and mask, your attention to what works for you is your most valued observation. Without a considerable attention to what creates that great night’s sleep, you’d be hard pressed to repeat that kind of sleep again tonight. Even with a great PAP machine and mask combination it is a great practice to detail your nightly experiences. So, how do you keep your PAP progress going? The best answer is journaling.
PAP Journaling Basics
You may think that skipping journaling and mentally noticing your results in the morning might be the best way to account for sleeping success. But happy PAP users are ones who take just a little more control of their experience. While being academic about PAP use is not a requirement, noticing patterns about your sleep habits with your device is.
Let’s check in with a small list of benefits regarding taking notes about your PAP experience:
• Writing a simple “poor, good, great mask fit “ note is key for noticing mask wear and tear so you can keep up with part replacement schedules. It also alerts you to the frequency of cleaning despite the standard once per week recommendation.
• Mark down the number of approximate times you awoke at night if any and its reason. This assists you to effectively troubleshoot in an online chat, person to person consult with a PAP professional or Sleep Doctor, etc. Whether you have such communication today, next week, next month or later in the year, you have great information to assist any troubleshooting effort.
• Note any lifestyle changes that might be affecting your sleep pattern, such as a new baby, new job, caffeine influence, etc. Recording a life-event like this is important because identifying the issue is solving it half-way.
Here’s a sample entry to guide you:
Nov 23, 2014 – the mask fit well, no leaks, one trip to the bathroom last night, got to bed late due to late work assignment deadline.
If you have a PAP unit that records your sleep data, include that with your entry. It will “fill out” last night’s experience into a near-complete picture.
Notes like this are clear and consistent and tell you exactly what happened. Develop the practice to jot down short entries like this. It will maintain clarity.
Note: Although it may seem costly from a time perspective, the benefits of writing down subjective situations about your sleep can fill in the gaps when using a PAP device. This practice proves itself well, even if you have a PAP unit with a data feedback feature.
The Trouble with Subjective Journaling
Too many details in your sleep journal can create a science experiment gone wrong. Here’s why.
• If too many subjective details find themselves written down, you might lose sight of the real sleep issue(s).
• If too many changing life conditions are jotted down, it will be glaringly real that your lifestyle is preventing good sleep, not the PAP device.
• If your sleep device and mask create too many irritations to note, it may be necessary to “trial” different PAP devices/masks. Use your best judgment here.
Many PAP devices now are equipped with wireless monitoring. This advantage means you have a second pair of eyes on your sleeping progress. For many this is a consolation, maybe even you. So you get to relax while realizing there is a solid, unbiased, objective voice “behind the scenes” if troubleshooting my phone, chat or in person becomes necessary.
CPAP forums are everywhere. Participate with those who are “in the thick of it” with you. Their solutions might become yours.
Happy PAP users = Happy Vendor and Sleep Doctor
Attaining a solid night’s sleep is a victory for everyone involved in the process of getting you there. Share your experiences and get results. When everyone in the circle of help gets involved, good results are inevitable. Hold your head high when taking the initiative for your sleep quality. You are not alone. Everyone wins when your sleep doctor, PAP vendor/consultant have a voice in your sleep improvement plan.
If this was helpful, please comment!
Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT
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