After a night of trick-or-treating, you arrive home and dig into your Halloween candy. You break off a piece of your favorite candy bar, only to find a razor blade embedded into its chocolatey core! Or maybe you’re walking down a dark street on a misty October night, and a vampire emerges from the shadows to feast on your blood!
Of course, we all know that this is the stuff of myths. But it is October, the spookiest time of year, so myths and urban legends abound. The truth is, myths can form around pretty much anything—even something like sleep apnea. Here are four common sleep apnea myths we’d like to dispel once and for all.
Sleep Apnea Myth #1: You don’t have to use your CPAP machine every night.
Look, we get it, no one loves using a CPAP machine. There are nights when you’re tempted to just skip it entirely, but it’s important not to give in to this temptation. If you don’t use your CPAP machine, your symptoms will return. Simple as that.
Sleep Apnea Myth #2: If the power goes out during the night, you’ll suffocate in your sleep.
This is one of the sleep apnea myths that nightmares are made of—but like most terrifying tales, there’s not a lot of truth to it. CPAP masks are designed with exhalation ports to prevent this from happening, so you’ll still be able to breathe air from the room even if your CPAP machine stops working. Still worried about this happening? We recommend contacting your CPAP mask manufacturer to inquire about safety precautions for your specific mask.
Sleep Apnea Myth #3: If you lose weight, you can ditch your CPAP machine for good.
There are lifestyle changes for managing sleep apnea, and losing weight is indeed one of them; however, it doesn’t necessarily make sleep apnea disappear completely. You can still have sleep apnea even if you’re not overweight. Your best bet is to schedule an appointment with your doctor once you’ve lost the weight. They may adjust the pressure settings on your CPAP machine or advise you to stop CPAP therapy—but let them make that call.
Sleep Apnea Myth #4: If you don’t snore, it’s not sleep apnea.
Of all the sleep apnea myths out there, this one is especially persistent. While snoring is a telltale symptom of sleep apnea, it’s just one of many. Other symptoms include: waking up abruptly to the sensation of choking or gasping, excessive daytime sleepiness, a dry throat or mouth and morning headaches.
Sleep disorders can be terrifying enough to navigate without all the myths. Now that you know these important facts about sleep apnea, you can leave the myths to Halloween and get on the right track to better sleep—because there’s truly nothing scarier than poor health.