Sleep Apnea

Diagnosed with sleep apnea: talking to family and finding support


Your next steps after diagnosis 

Well done on taking the initiative to get tested and diagnosed for sleep apnea. You've taken the important first step, and now it's time to prepare for CPAP therapy. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed or nervous at this stage. However, it is not as scary as you might think, and many of the myths perpetuated by the media are not true. 

The more you understand about your condition and how CPAP works, the better you will feel about it. To put to rest any concerns you may have, we have created this guide on how to emotionally prepare for therapy. We will also provide tips on how to share this news with your family and loved ones so that you can navigate this journey together. 

Emotionally process your diagnosis 

Receiving a diagnosis for sleep apnea can be overwhelming, and it's normal to feel anxious and go through various emotional stages. It's not uncommon to experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As you navigate through these, one helpful strategy is to keep a journal where you can jot down your questions and concerns along the way. 

Remember to remind yourself that you're on a path to better sleep, improved relationships and a better quality of life. Starting CPAP therapy may take some time to get used to, but it's worth it. It might help you regain the restful sleep and energy to do all the things you love. 

Create a sleep-friendly environment 

Creating a sleep environment that supports your therapy is vital to setting yourself up for success. One of the first things to do is to find a cosy, easily accessible spot for your CPAP device, such as your bedside table. But just because you're using a medical device doesn't mean your bedroom needs to look clinical. If you feel self-conscious about your equipment, get creative! 

There are many ways to integrate your CPAP equipment into your room or décor, from hanging it on the wall to simply storing it out of sight. When your bedroom has the right look and feel, you will be more likely to use your equipment and sleep better too.

For more tips and tricks on improving your sleep environment, check out our blog on how to optimise your bedroom for restorative sleep.

Talk to your loved ones about CPAP

It might seem intimidating to discuss sleep apnea and CPAP therapy with your loved ones. But don't worry, we're here to guide you through it. It's essential to have support on this journey. 

Some of those you tell may have concerns or feel intimidated by CPAP equipment. The best way to ease their fears is to talk about CPAP with empathy and share information about its benefits. You should also let them ask questions and address any concerns they have.  

Together, you can come up with a plan to tackle emotional challenges as well as ways they can support you. Whether it's creating a cleaning routine or simply having regular check-ins, their involvement can make a huge difference. 

If you're looking for inspiration, watch our patient story to see how one CPAP user approached his family about sleep apnea and how he even convinced his father to use CPAP. 

You've got this! 

CPAP therapy is a well-tested and non-invasive way to treat sleep apnea. In our experience, many people who have started and stuck with it report feeling healthier and sleeping better. While adjustment to the mask and device might be challenging for some at first, it gets easier. In the long run, any trouble you have during the adjustment period will be worth it. 

And when it comes to your overall therapy journey, don't hesitate to share it with your family and friends. Their support and active participation can make a big difference. Alternatively, you can also seek support from online communities and healthcare professionals working in CPAP. 

If you ever need help or guidance, please feel free to book a free sleep coach* consult with one of our team members for a friendly chat. 

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* ResMed Sleep Coaches can give general information about sleep health, sleep disorders and products that may help improve your sleep. They are not qualified healthcare professionals and cannot provide medical advice.  

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