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Adventures in Sleep

Tactics for CPAP During Hot Months

Published July 28, 2011 9:28 AM by Penny Mehaffey

Hello... is there anybody still out there? Or have you all dehydrated and shriveled up? Can you believe how hot it is? I read the temperatures and I know they must be true, but still I just have a hard time wrapping my head around those triple digits. To make matters worse, I'm a southern girl, from the deep south -- Georgia in fact. I can take the heat. Bring it on ... just don't let my air conditioner go out! 

Taking the heat and liking it are totally different animals. I don't like it. I'd much prefer the cold temperatures of Alaska,which is what I try to achieve in my house with the AC. I am usually unsuccessful though, since I have to guard the thermostat from the other two marauders I live with (spouse and child). They prefer the warmer 70s; I thrive in the 60s.

Let me encourage you with the fact that there's only one month of summer left. Meanwhile let's keep in mind that these extreme temps can make it harder for people to breathe. Our CPAP patients are no exception and may complain more about feeling claustrophobic with the full face masks. They may feel hotter and tend to sweat from mask. One trick to beat the heat there is to swab the area the mask will touch with an alcohol wipe. It will dry out skin and also create a temporary cooling sensation.

This time of year there's nothing worse than opening a door to a sleep room and having a hot breeze hit you.   Have the day tech lower the temps in the sleep rooms and keep the doors closed all day. Be sure all the lights in the sleep rooms are off during the day. Do offer fans to the patients. A fan in the room can lower the air temp by as much as 10 degrees. 

I know these are simple measures, but it's what I do and it makes a difference. Any other tips for keeping cool in the lab?

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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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