It is estimated that approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea (OSA), which of those cases around 80 percent are left undiagnosed.
One way to combat sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP).
CPAP uses a machine to help someone affected with sleep apnea to breathe more fluidly during their sleep, thus increasing the quality of sleep they get.
Due to the numerous power outages the United States and the rest of the world experience, more and more people are beginning to rely on solar generators to power their CPAP machines during the night.
In this article we discuss sleep apnea and how a solar powered generator can add peace of mind to those relying on CPAP machines during their sleep.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea, also spelled sleep apnea is a sleep disorder affecting more than 1 billion people globally, or roughly every 1 in 10 people, and up to 30% of the elderly
The disorder affects your sleep in that pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep occur more often than they would in someone without the disorder.
These pauses in breathing can last for a few seconds up to a few minutes and can happen multiple time throughout the night.
The most common form of sleep apnea is accompanied by loud snoring. Additionally, they may also be a choking or snorting sound as the persons breathing begins once again.
Sleep apnea affects the persons normal sleep cycle, particularly the rapid eye movement sleep (also known as REM).
Because of this, those affected will be very much drowsy or tired throughout the day. Children who are affected with sleep apnea, on the other hand, may experience hyperactivity and struggle to perform in school.
Sleep apnea itself is not fatal, however if left untreated, it can cause a range of heath problems ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes.
WHAT IS A CPAP MACHINE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP is induced by a motorized machine known as a CPAP machine.
The machine works by generating a consistent stream of pressurized air which travels through an advanced air filter into a flexible tube. It is this tube that delivers purified air into a mask which is fitted around your nose or mouth.
As the CPAP machine is fitted around your nose or mouth, the airstream generated, pushes against any blockages.
This opens your airways so that your lungs can receive plenty of oxygen A CPAP machine allows your breathing to be continuous which means you won’t wake up repeatedly during your sleep.
Without anything obstructing this flow of oxygen, your breathing doesn’t pause. As a result, you don’t repeatedly wake up in order to resume breathing.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CPAP MACHINES?
All CPAP machines are made from the same basic components:
- a motor housed in a base unit
- a tube that connects the motor to the mask
- a headgear frame
- a cushioned mask
- “elbow” pieces that act as joints
- adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit of the device
Different CPAP mask types
Mask type depends on the CPAP machine you end up using. Which type you decide to wear is usually dictated by your breathing habits and how comfortable to mask is to you as an individual.
The different types of CPAP masks include the following:
NASAL PILLOW MASK
This type of CPAP mask has a small cushion that covers up your nostrils. It may also have two prongs that fit inside your nostrils. This type of CPAP mask allows you to continue wearing glasses easily and also works well if you have a lot of facial hair such as a large beard.
A nasal mask has cushion area that covers your entire nose area. If you move around in your sleep often, this may be a better type of mask for you. It can also deliver a high pressure airstream.
The full mask does as the name intends, it covers both your nose and mouth area. These types of masks are usually prescribed if you often breathe through your mouth at night. Or if you have some sort of blockage in your nose.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CPAP, APAP, AND BIPAP MACHINES?
Other types of breathing machines are APAP and BiPAP devices. Here are the differences:
This machine uses a program to deliver pressurized air at one steady air pressure level. If you would like to change the air pressure, you will have to reset the devices settings.
APAP stands for automatic positive airflow pressure. This machine monitors your breathing throughout the night and automatically adjusts the air pressure it delivers based on this.
BiPAP stands for Bi-level positive airflow pressure. These devices have two pressure settings, one for inhaling and one lower pressure for exhaling. It is commonly used by people who cannot stand CPAP machines or by people who have elevated levels of carbon dioxide in their blood.
HOW MANY WATTS DOES A CPAP MACHINE USE?
The amount of watts your CPAP machine uses all depends on the type of machine you end up buying.
Watts is a unit of power and a function of current (amps) and volts. The formula is as follows: Watts = amps x volts.
The majority of CPAP machines on the market use between 30 to 60 watts of power.
However, it is possible for the machines to use more power if they are working overtime.
For example, the ResMed Airsense 10 (a brand/model of CPAP machine) has a typical power consumption of 53 watts (57VA). However, it's peak power consumption can reach up to 104 watts.
When you are deciding on a solar generator for your CPAP machine, you need to make sure the onboard inverter can accommodate for fluctuations in power draw.
For example our AC50S solar generator will have no problem powering a 60 watt CPAP machine for up to 17 hours!
HOW DO I USE A CPAP MACHINE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY?
Virtually all CPAP machines do not come with onboard batteries, pretty much all of them are powered by a power supply that plugs into an electrical outlet.
Most of the time this is great, it is convenient this way and allows the machines to be smaller as they do not require bulky onboard batteries.
However, most people are concerned about blackouts.
What if you are sleeping in the middle of the night, your CPAP machine plugged into an electrical outlet and the power cuts.
In the event that there is a power outage, your CPAP machine will simply shut off.
You will still be able to breathe if this happens. However, you will no longer be getting the much needed continuous stream of pressurized air when the power cuts.
This is where most people opt for a solar generator to power their CPAP machines during the night.
By plugging your CPAP machine into a solar generator, you can be guaranteed continuous power, the entire night regardless of any blackouts.
BEST SOLAR GENERATOR FOR CPAP MACHINE?
The best solar generator or portable power station for a CPAP machine is a quiet one. This is why solar generators and not conventional generators are the obvious choice.
Solar generators barely make a noise, with the only sound being generated by the onboard fan which cools the pure sine wave inverter.
Because the draw of most CPAP machines is quite low, you wont expect to hear much coming from the solar generators fan any way, as the inverter is not having to work so hard.
It is very important however that you get the correct size solar generator for your CPAP machine.
For example, you don't want to get something with low battery storage, as you want to be sure your portable power station can continue powering your CPAP for the entire night.
HOW LONG CAN A SOLAR GENERATOR POWER A CPAP MACHINE?
This all depends on the solar generator you get and what sort of battery storage it has onboard.
One of our smallest solar generators, the AC50S (500Wh) will provide electricity to a CPAP machine for up to 17 hours!
The following amount of sleep is recommended by the CDC:
|AGE GROUP||RECOMMENDED HOURS OF SLEEP PER DAY|
|Newborn||0–3 months||14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)1
No recommendation (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)
|Infant||4–12 months||12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Toddler||1–2 years||11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Preschool||3–5 years||10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|School Age||6–12 years||9–12 hours per 24 hours|
|Teen||13–18 years||8–10 hours per 24 hours|
|Adult||18–60 years||7 or more hours per night|
|61–64 years||7–9 hours|
|65 years and older||7–8 hours|
Based on the information in this article, even one of our smallest solar generators can supply ample power to your CPAP machine during your sleep cycle.
Once you awake, you could put your solar generator with its attached solar panels outside in the sun and recharge it for the next upcoming night.
Because of the storage, you would essentially always have an extra night of charge remaining in case their is no sun for the day. However, in this case you could simply plug your solar generator into a power outlet and charge it via the grid.
Another option would be getting a bigger solar generator for your CPAP machine, our AC200P (2000Wh) for example.
- This 2000Wh solar generator is able to power a 60 watt CPAP machine for more than 28 hours straight. In the event of a prolonged power outage, this device will have you more than covered.
A solar generator so powerful can come in handy for many appliances throughout your home.
Check out the comparison table below to learn what size solar generators can power what appliances and for how long.
A solar generator can be used to power multiple appliances in your RV, home or even boat. However, a lot of these appliances are often used for recreational purposes.
Sometimes there are more critical appliances that need powering, appliances like the CPAP machine for example, rely 100% on a continuous flow of electricity.
Without that electricity, your machine will simply shut down. Not ideal when you rely on that machine to not only get a proper nights sleep but also to care for your health in general.
Bluetti's solar generators are perfect for all types of CPAP machines, you can browse our selection of products here.