CPAP machines are designed to provide relief for those living with sleep apnea.
The CPAP machine injects pressurized air into the windpipe, holding it open and allowing the person to breathe normally while they sleep.
The benefits of CPAP machines extend beyond simply allowing people to get a good night’s sleep to include secondary, quality of life benefits.
20 Benefits Of CPAP Machines
In the list below our health and wellness experts outline 20 primary and secondary benefits of using a CPAP machine.
1: A CPAP machine is effective.
A CPAP machine is, first and foremost, a machine designed to treat sleep apnea (1). And for that purpose, it has a proven record of success. While it is not a cure for sleep apnea, it can nonetheless provide effective, affordable, safe relief from the most odious effects of this vexing condition. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should consider getting a CPAP machine.
2: A CPAP machine can be used as a ventilator.
On March 24, 2020 the FDA approved an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) stating that alternative breathing devices – including positive pressure breathing devices such as CPAP machines – can be used as ventilators to help those afflicted with the worst respiratory effects of covid-19 (2). Those who doubt a CPAP machine can be repurposed as a ventilator should read the FDA EUA.
3: A CPAP machine can help you weather the coronavirus.
One of the most troubling aspects of the coronavirus is the tendency for it to morph into what is known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS (3). It is actually this condition, and not the virus itself, which has been responsible for most covid-19 related deaths. A CPAP machine can help those afflicted with ARDS weather the storm. The FDA, as we’ve seen, has approved them for just that purpose.
4: A CPAP machine is easy to use.
CPAP machines may seem like something only a highly trained nurse or hospital technician could operate. But commercially available CPAP machines have been refined so that anyone can easily operate them. In most cases, all you need to do is follow a series of menu prompts. Whether you’re using it to treat sleep apnea or ARDS/covid-19, you’ll find the CPAP machine easy to use.
5: CPAP machines often have built-in humidifiers.
Many of the best CPAP machines have built-in humidifiers. That is important because if the air from the CPAP is too dry it can aggravate other sleep issues, leave you with a sore throat and may cause you to start breathing through your mouth while you sleep (4). Warm, moist air from the CPAP machine makes the entire act of drawing a full, satisfying breath that much easier.
6: A CPAP machine can be set to adjust to your needs automatically.
Not all CPAP machines offer automatic adjustment. But you will often find it on the more expensive units. This type of unit monitors your breathing patterns and then, when necessary, automatically adjusts air pressure to compensate. As a result, your air passages remain open while you sleep.
7: CPAP machines can go where you go.
There is a whole sub-category of CPAP machines designed for travel. Typically, they don’t have integrated humidifiers because that would add to both size and weight. Nonetheless, the portable CPAP machine will help ensure that no matter where you are in the world, sleep apnea won’t get the better of you. These compact, lightweight units are approved by the FAA to be transported in carry on bags (5).
8: A CPAP machine can capture sleep data.
Not only that, but they can share it with their own proprietary app or with various 3rd party fitness apps. There are any number of health and wellness apps floating about that propose to help you do everything from diet more effectively to sleep better. What they require to work, however, is accurate data. Some CPAP machines can sync to these apps via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone.
9: A CPAP machine may result in healthier skin.
One of the less-discussed side effects of sleep apnea is the tendency of some sufferers to develop skin problems over time (6). As such, it only stands to reason that effectively treating sleep apnea with a CPAP machine would reduce this risk. And in some cases eliminate it. So if you’re anxious to preserve your smooth, supple skin, a CPAP machine may help.
10: A CPAP machine is good for your heart.
The cardiovascular system requires a steady, predictable flow of blood and oxygen. But sleep apnea causes disruptions to breathing. When blood and oxygen flow is disrupted the body responds by releasing the stress hormone adrenaline (7). Repeated release of adrenaline can ultimately lead to high blood pressure. While insufficient oxygen supply to the heart can cause a heart attack (8).
11: A CPAP machine is available from multiple sources.
In the not-too-distant past, you would have to search high and low to find a machine like this. Chances are you would have had to go to a company that supplied high-end equipment to hospitals and clinics. And you would have wound up paying through the nose. That is, if they would sell it to you. Today, you can obtain a CPAP machine from numerous brick and mortar and online retailers.
12: A CPAP machine can help you get your mojo back.
And, unfortunately, you may need to get it back. Because sleep apnea has been linked to both reduced libido and erectile dysfunction in men (9)(10). A CPAP machine can help restore deep, restful sleep. That, in turn, should help restore your normal, vibrant sex drive. And ensure you’re able to rise to the occasion when the situation calls for it.
13: A CPAP machine can save on other medical expenses.
No, a CPAP machine is not a medical savings account. Nor does it entitle you to discounts on office visits and the like. But what it will do is enable you to get a good night’s sleep, night after night. That will pay handsome health benefits which will reduce the chances of you developing a host of fatigue-related ailments. Better health. Fewer visits to the doctor. More money in your pocket.
14: A CPAP machine can help stabilize blood sugars.
Besides affecting your cardiovascular system and wreaking havoc with your sex life, sleep apnea has also been linked with type II diabetes. It seems sleep apnea contributes to insulin resistance (11), a major causative factor in the development of type II diabetes. Obtaining effective treatment for your sleep apnea by way of a CPAP machine can help normalize blood sugars and fend off diabetes.
15: A CPAP machine can reduce the risk of stroke.
Researchers have discovered that sleep apnea is just as big a risk factor for stroke as high blood pressure or smoking (12). It’s not a pretty picture. But it’s not a situation that has to end badly. A CPAP machine can prevent sleep apnea from raising your risk for stroke. And as a result, possibly add years to your life.
16: A CPAP machine may help prevent hearing loss.
If you’re starting to get the impression that sleep apnea is an all-purpose health hazard, you’re right. Research also indicates a link between sleep apnea and hearing loss (13). The exact mechanism by which sleep apnea affects hearing is not fully understood. But it’s believed to be associated with inflammation. Treating your sleep apnea with a CPAP machine may actually save your hearing.
17: A CPAP machine will help you be more productive.
There can be little doubt that people who get a good night’s sleep think clearer, are more alert and are more lucid in general than those who suffer from fitful sleep. But sleep apnea does more than make you a bit drowsy during the day. Oxygen deprivation due to sleep apnea may actually damage brain cells. Fortunately, research indicates that the kind of brain damage sleep apnea causes can in fact be reversed by regular use of a CPAP machine (14).
18: A CPAP machine can reduce your risk of depression.
Research now indicates a link between sleep apnea and depression (15). This further bolsters the argument that sleep apnea is part of a larger, systemic problem. If the condition only contributed to depression you might say it was a stand-alone condition. But with so many maladies now linked with sleep apnea, the evidence is strong that it is only the tip of a systemic iceberg.
19: A CPAP machine can make you a better driver.
The same unsatisfying sleep that makes people less than stellar workers also makes them less than safe drivers. It is estimated that as many as 20% of all deadly road accidents are the result of driver fatigue (16). A CPAP machine can help you get the sleep you need to be a better driver. And that’s good for everyone on the road.
20: CPAP therapy may help lower your blood pressure.
Just when you thought sleep apnea couldn’t be linked to any other conditions, we have one more for you: high blood pressure. It’s not known whether high blood pressure causes sleep apnea or sleep apnea causes high blood pressure. But it is known that as many as 70% of people with sleep apnea also have high blood pressure (17). If you suffer from both a CPAP machine can likely help.
CPAP machines enable people with sleep apnea to get a worry-free night’s sleep. CPAP machines are easy to use, can be brought with you when you travel, are affordable and produce an array of secondary benefits related to skin health, cognitive health, sexual health and much more.