Spring cleaning tips for CPAP users
You know that feeling when your room is tidy, your bed is made and your sheets are fresh? Do you relish the sense of calm when everything is in its right place? If you’ve never known the joys of sleeping in a perfectly clean room, it may be time to bring the life-altering magic of a spotless space into your daily life. You’ll feel better and most likely sleep better, too.
Luckily it’s time for spring cleaning – the perfect opportunity to look at your overall cleaning routines, including with your CPAP equipment.
We’ve outlined some spring cleaning tips to help you get the best sleep possible, improve your therapy, and give yourself a tidier peace of mind.
Sprucing up your CPAP equipment
The benefits of cleaning up aren’t limited to your sleep space. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your therapy equipment can help you have the best experience possible.
Use spring cleaning as an opportunity to ask yourself:
- When was the last time I cleaned my CPAP mask and machine? (Hint: if the answer is not “this week,” it’s time to clean!)
- How often should I replace my CPAP filter, water tub, tubing and mask?
- What type of soap should I use to clean my equipment?
- How do I properly clean specific parts of my mask and machine?
Tips for cleaning:
- First, always consult the machine or mask product manual.
- What you’ll need: soft bristled brush, soapy warm water, and a clean, dry cloth.
- Use distilled water with a mild, fragrance-free soap or mild liquid detergent, and do not use bleach.
- Keep track of your replacement schedule.
- Clean CPAP supplies and mask on a regular schedule, and leave enough time before bed for the parts to properly dry. Allow to dry away from direct sunlight.
- Clean all parts, and follow cleaning guidelines in the mask and machine user guide:
- Water tub or humidifier – wash with warm water and mild detergent weekly
- Headgear – soak in warm water and mild soap/detergent weekly
- Mask cushion – wash with warm water and mild soap/detergent daily
- Filters – replace at least every six months, or more often if visually dirty or dusty
Sprucing up your living space
Clean spaces can make a big impact on our health and happiness and factor into good sleep hygiene. Over 65% of Americans equate things like cool, clean allergen-free air and a dark, quiet and clean bedroom with better sleep. Even clean smells make a difference, as about 71% of Americans say they get a more comfortable night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent.
Tidying up also cuts the number of allergens lurking in your home. Allergies and sleep apnea do not make good bedfellows, and symptoms compromise sleep quality. In fact, one study found that, “All dimensions of sleep were impaired by AR [allergic rhinitis].” Avoid this fate. Follow these simple clean-up tips to turn your home into a sanctuary of sleep this spring.
Tips for cleaning your space:
- Devote daily time – Spend as little as 5 to 10 minutes on a few activities like dusting to cut back on the frequency of time-consuming deep cleans.
- Use DIY cleansers – Make your own household cleansers with essential oils (some have been shown to hold sleep aid properties)3 for a natural way to keep your space dust and allergen free. Lavender, citrus and eucalyptus all work well as cleaning agents.
- Banish debris – Focus on oft-neglected areas that collect debris. Dust, pet dander and mold hide around door jams and window sills, air vents and ceiling fans, under the bed and in clothes dryer ducts. This buildup can have a big impact on your breathing and allergies.
- Feng shui your space – Declutter, move furniture around (vacuum those corners!), and work to create dim, calming lighting. Find the setup that makes you feel most at ease.
- Tidy up at work – Thriving in a clean environment isn’t limited to your living space. We spend roughly one-third of our time at work, and a clean desk and workspace is key to staying healthy. Regularly wipe down your work surfaces to avoid germs that make you sick.
- Eliminate allergens – Clean your washing machine before washing towels and bed linens. Add 1-2 cups of white vinegar to the dispenser and run the washer empty through a hot water cycle. Wipe down the drum, and you’re done!
Sprucing up your routine
Besides maintaining your equipment and keeping your sleep space squeaky clean, you can improve your overall therapy with mindful lifestyle changes.
Easy ways to help improve therapy:
- Exercise outside – Use the new season and longer days to enhance your exercise routine. Increase time spent moving with outdoor activities like long walks or throwing a Frisbee around.
- Eat fresh – Lighten up your meals with seasonal vegetables and fruits, and try eating more raw foods to maximize vitamin and fiber intake. Snow peas, carrots, grapefruit and strawberries are particularly good raw spring produce.
- Start singing – Spring is a season when the birds are chirping, and nature is singing. Why not join in? Singing exercises the mouth and throat, which can help OSA symptoms.
- Get fit – Mask fit and proper use make all the difference. Make sure you’re fitted for the right size and that you’re wearing your mask properly. Your provider will help you find the right setup, but for the perfect at-home adjustments, make sure your mask is snug enough to create a seal, but that the straps aren’t pulled too close, causing an over-tight fit.
Spring cleaning is a satisfying way to cheer up and enhance quality of life. If you want to experience how tidying can improve your sleep, give some of these tips a try!