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Summer is in full swing and is an ideal time to explore new destinations. However, for people struggling with sleep apnea, a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep, traveling can present some challenges when it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep away from home. If you’re planning a summer getaway and have sleep apnea, we’ve got you covered. With just a few simple tips and tricks, you can get the quality sleep you need while enjoying your vacation to the fullest.

1. Pack your CPAP machine

If you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to manage your sleep apnea, make it a priority to pack it along with your other essentials. This device delivers a steady flow of air to keep your airways open during sleep. Just be sure that you have all the necessary components, including the mask, tubing, and power supply. You might even consider investing in a travel-friendly CPAP machine that is lightweight and compact, making it easier to transport. These small, powerful and easy-to-transport machines are also a good thing to pack in your emergency go bag when you aren’t traveling.

2. Research accommodations

Before booking your accommodation, consider inquiring about their sleep apnea-friendly amenities. Many hotels now offer rooms equipped with CPAP-friendly outlets and even provide special pillows or bedding to enhance your sleep quality. Just inform the hotel in advance about your specific requirements to ensure a more comfortable stay. If you’re staying with friends or family, discuss your needs with them, so they can make suitable arrangements as needed.

3. Carry extra supplies

It’s always a good idea to pack extra supplies for your CPAP machine, such as filters, tubing, and mask cushions. This ensures that you have backups in case something gets misplaced or damaged during your trip. Additionally, bring an extension cord or power strip, as some hotel rooms may not have easily accessible power outlets near the bed.

4. Maintain your sleep routine

Consistency is key when it comes to managing sleep apnea. It’s beneficial for you to stick to your regular sleep schedule whenever possible, even when traveling. This means maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule every day if you can. This consistent routine keeps your body’s internal clock consistent and fosters better sleep. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and heavy meals close to your bedtime, since these can aggravate sleep apnea symptoms.

5. Create a sleep-friendly environment

Adjusting to a new sleeping environment can be challenging. To create a sleep-friendly atmosphere, bring items that relax you and make you most comfortable. Consider packing an eye mask and earplugs to block out light and noise. If you prefer white noise, bring a portable sound machine or use a smartphone app that offers soothing sounds to help you drift off.

6. Practice good sleep hygiene

Whether at home or on the road, practicing good sleep hygiene is essential to your overall health and well-being. Maintaining a cool, dark and quiet bedroom ambiance is key. You’ll also want to limit your exposure to electronic devices before retiring since the blue light is disruptive to your sleep patterns. Relaxing activities like reading or taking a warm bath before bedtime also help you wind down from a busy vacation day and prepare your body for restful sleep.

7. Stay hydrated and exercise

Proper hydration and regular exercise can also help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. When traveling, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day and limit your caffeine intake, especially close to bedtime. Some calming physical activities like walks or swimming can also boost your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Preparation is Key

With proper preparation, your sleep apnea doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying your summer travels. By taking these steps to prioritize your sleep and manage your condition, you can have a restful and rejuvenating vacation which is usually the goal for summer travels. If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea, we invite you to give us a call!