What is PAP NAP?

The PAP Nap is for patients who are anxious about using NCPAP, or finding it difficult to tolerate prescribed treatment.

Although NCPAP is a common treatment for Obstructive sleep apnea, some individuals find it very difficult to tolerate.  Adhering to treatment is vital. NCPAP works only if you use it nightly.  If you are concerned about using NCPAP, or finding it difficult to tolerate, please contact Midwest Center for Sleep Disorders—we may be able to help.

A PAP-NAP is a 3-4 hour daytime procedure designed to alleviate fears and eliminate anxiety regarding NCPAP use. A certified sleep technician will work with you one-on-one to help you adjust to the therapy your physician has ordered for you.

What to Expect

As you arrive at the Lab, your technician will escort you to a comfortable private room, and sit down with you for awhile to discuss any concerns or problems you may have regarding NCPAP use. In addition, the technician will make sure you have a very clear understanding of exactly how “Positive Airway Pressure” works, and why this therapy is so important to your continued health.

The next step in the procedure is a “mask fitting”.  The mask required to deliver CPAP must have an effective seal, and be held securely in place. There are numerous masks available in many shapes and sizes. It is best to try several types of masks in order to determine which one is right for you.

Mask Selection

PAP masks can be narrowed down to 3 basic categories.

1) The Nasal Mask:  This mask consists of a soft, pliable cushion that fits over the nose, and is held in place by a stretchable headgear.


•    A properly fit nasal mask is very comfortable and creates a good, leak proof seal


•    A poorly fitting mask will leak through the night. Attempts to  tighten it may create pressure points or sores

•    A nasal mask is not appropriate for “mouth-breathers”

2) Nasal Pillows:  These pillows are inserted a slight way into the nostrils, and held in place by straps around the head. This type of mask is much more comfortable than it might seem, and is a favorite of many patients.


•    Often the choice for claustrophobic patients as there is nothing covering the face.

•    The Nasal Pillow mask does not interfere with patients who wear eyeglasses.

•    Beards or mustaches create difficulties with nasal masks; this is not so with nasal pillows.


•    A poorly fitting mask can cause irritation to the nostrils.

•    Higher PAP settings may cause nasal dryness (usually corrected easily with humidification)

3) The Full Face Mask:  Nasal obstruction or congestion will prevent some individuals from breathing through their nose at all. In cases such as these, a full face mask may be necessary. The full face mask covers both the mouth and nose, assuring a consistent PAP delivery.


•    The only choice for mouth breathing patients.


•    The mask covers a larger facial area, therefore the full face mask is more bulky and difficult to seal. A proper fit is imperative.

•    Due to its size, the full face mask is more easily dislodged by patients who sleep on their side or stomach.

Midwest Center for Sleep Disorders carries a large variety of masks. The technician will work with you until you find the correct size and fit.


Once the proper mask has been chosen, PAP will be initiated. The technician will start the airflow at the lowest “baseline” setting. Breathing out against the positive airflow may feel unpleasant to some people. Often patients will complain that they are “Not getting enough air”. The technician will remain in the room at this point to educate and reassure. Relaxation techniques and re-focusing attention may be helpful. The tech will introduce you to the “Ramp” feature on your machine (designed to help you fall asleep) and the benefit of heated humidity.  As you become more comfortable, the technician will raise and lower the pressure to give you a better idea of how your therapy may actually feel.

Treating your apnea is important for your health and well-being, adhering to treatment is vital. NCPAP works only if you use it nightly.  If you are concerned about using NCPAP, or finding it difficult to tolerate, please contact Midwest Center for Sleep Disorders.