Aug 24th 2022
What Is CPAP Ramp Time?
First things first: the CPAP ramp time feature helps new CPAP users get used to operating their CPAP machine. Instead of starting at your diagnosed air pressure, the ramp time setting enables you to begin at a lower pressure and gradually increase to your prescribed pressure. Once the ramp starts, it will steadily increase to your prescribed pressure. Depending on your device, you can select the duration to take between 5 minutes and 45 minutes.
Ramp is also an excellent feature for users who are not new to CPAP therapy. This feature can help any sleep apnea patient fall asleep soundly at a lower pressure so that they are already asleep when the higher pressure kicks in.
How the CPAP Ramp Time Function Benefits You
Whether you just did your first night of sleep therapy or are ten years in, we all agree it isn't easy to adjust to CPAP therapy. Yet, some CPAP veterans still use the ramp feature even years later because it helps them.
Adapting to Your CPAP Therapy
Some patients only chose to use the ramp feature at the beginning of their sleep therapy. They begin with a higher time setting — maybe an hour — and gradually decrease the amount of time so they can eventually use their machine without the ramp feature.
Building a CPAP Therapy Routine
Conversely, other patients prefer to use their ramp function all the time, not because they're still adjusting, but because they like falling asleep before the pressure kicks in. So they find a specific setting that works for them based on how long it takes them to fall asleep, and then they stick with it.
As long as you eventually reach your diagnosed air pressure setting, it doesn't matter how you do it. The CPAP ramp time feature is there for your benefit.
Setting Your Ramp Time
Although each machine is slightly different, setting up your ramp time is similar on each device. Read your individual owner's manual for specific instructions.
First, you'll need to set your starting pressure and the duration of the ramp. Most machines offer increments of 5 for your ramp duration. Your device will likely default the starting pressure to the lowest possible pressure on the machine, commonly 4 PEEP (Positive End-Expiratory Pressure).
Do All Machines Have the Ramp Time Function?
Not every CPAP machine has ramp settings. So, when shopping for a machine, read what features are on that device. If ramp time is something that will help you adjust, ensure you find a machine that offers that feature.
Potential Ramp Time Issues
Ramp time may not work for those who wake up frequently because therapy only works if it's at therapeutic pressure. So, technically, when using the ramp feature, you are losing quality sleep since the pressure is low for a time. If you wake up frequently, you may want to discontinue using the ramp in order to have a more sound sleep.
Another potential issue, which is related, could be simply waking up when the pressure reaches the final pressure. If you are waking up at the end of the ramp cycle, it is also not worth the effort, and you will need to restart the ramp to rise again to your CPAP pressure. Instead, try simply wearing your mask at the prescribed setting to adjust.
Shop Our Best-Selling CPAP Machines with Ramp
Some best-sellers that include the ramp time feature are:
- ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet
- ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet (Card-to-cloud)
- Breas HDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine
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