Sep 28th 2022

How to Use Essential Oils with CPAP Therapy

If you're looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality, using essential oils alongside your CPAP therapy may be the answer you've been searching for. Although there is no scientific evidence to support the use of essential oils for sleep improvement, many people find that they help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

In this post, we'll attempt to answer your questions and share what we know about using essential oils with CPAP therapy.

Do You Want to Use Essential Oils with CPAP Therapy?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask attached to a CPAP machine that blows air into your lungs while you sleep.

The first and most important thing you need to know is to NEVER put essential oils in your CPAP machine, CPAP humidifier, mask, tubing, or filters. These oils can damage your machine and parts and may also negatively affect your health and the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment.

Some users might find it challenging to adjust to CPAP treatment and may be tempted to use essential oils to make the experience more tolerable. If you feel that aromatherapy is beneficial to your well-being, you may consider using essential oils alongside your CPAP therapy. Many different oils have been reported to help with relaxation and make it easier to sleep. You can simply place a few drops of oil in a diffuser — NOT your CPAP machine or any CPAP parts — and naturally breathe in the calming aroma — not the oil itself — while you sleep. (Just note: a little goes a long way.)

Use Essential Oils for Relaxation — Not Treatment

People use many essential oils to improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Scenting the air in the room should be the only way to use essential oils at the same time as CPAP sleep therapy. Essential oils do not provide any medical benefit to CPAP treatment; in fact, it can be a deterrent to effective treatment.

Essential oils can interact with the components of your CPAP equipment, such as the mask or tubing causing damage and limiting the equipment’s ability to operate properly. Always speak with your healthcare provider before considering using essential oils near your CPAP device.

Can Essential Oils Improve Sleep Quality?

Some people claim that using essential oils can improve their sleep during CPAP therapy. Unfortunately, there isn't any verified, peer-reviewed scientific research to back up this claim.

Still, you have alternatives. If you feel more relaxed and less anxious while using essential oils such as lavender, consider diffusing it for a set amount of time right before bed. You might also take an essential oils bath before bedtime or place a small amount of essential oil on your arms or wrists.

Again, it’s always a great idea to discuss it with your healthcare practitioner first to ensure there won't be any interactions with your CPAP equipment, prescribed therapy, or other medications.

The Different Benefits of Essential Oils and CPAP Therapy

The purposes of essential oils and CPAP therapy are quite different.

CPAP therapy is designed specifically for treating sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts the body’s ability to sleep properly. The effects of untreated sleep apnea can be quite serious, including heart problems, diabetes, or cancer. CPAP machines allow the body to breathe fully during sleep, and they require fine-tuned settings to ensure the patient receives adequate treatment.

Essential oils, on the other hand, do not aid the body with proper breathing. They’re great for helping you relax and reduce your anxiety — which indeed can help a person sleep better. But their powerful, concentrated composition can disrupt sleep apnea treatment when used in or near CPAP equipment.

By all means, feel free to use essential oils in your daily routine — just avoid them with your CPAP therapy.

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