Can You Sleep with A Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Can You Sleep with A Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

So, you just bought or want to buy a portable oxygen concentrator, but not sure if you can sleep while using it? You came to the right place.

We have written everything you will need to know about sleeping with an oxygen concentrator, but let's focus on the main question first.

Can You Sleep With A Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

You can sleep with a portable oxygen concentrator, especially when you need oxygen at night. It can help you improve your sleep quality and duration. Moreover, it can also boost your mood, reduce insomnia, and prevent health risks due to lack of sleep.

Aside from that, sleeping with oxygen concentrators can also give you more energy, stamina, and alertness during the day. Worry not because a prescribed usage of oxygen therapy will not harm you when you use it 24/7. You only need to follow safety precautions, and you're good.

Read this informative article further to learn more!

Why Do People Experience Low Oxygen at Night?

Because we breathe less when we sleep, our blood oxygen level drops. Our alveoli may also function slower when we sleep. As a result, some people experience low oxygen levels at night. 

People with sleeping, breathing, or respiratory health disorders, such as COPD, sleep apnea, and asthma may also suffer from this situation. 

Signs & Symptoms of Low Oxygen While Sleeping At Night

sleeping with portable oxygen concentrator at night

The average oxygen level for people ranges from 90 to 100%. Once your oxygen level drops down to 88% and below, you must immediately consult your trusted respiratory therapists.

However, it is reasonable if you cannot measure your oxygen level during sleep. Instead, you may encounter signs and symptoms that indicate low oxygen while sleeping at night. These are as follows:

  • Waking up gasping for air or choking
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Chest pain
  • Vision problems
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or fatigue during the day
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loud snoring
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety or depression for no reason
  • Memory loss or trouble remembering events
  • Bluish tints in ears, nails, and lips

5 Ways to Increase Oxygen Levels While Sleeping

Luckily, you can follow five essential tips to increase your oxygen levels while sleeping. This list includes improving your lifestyle, managing air quality, and using breathing equipment. Read the following to know more.

1. Daily exercise

First, doing daily exercises can improve your sleep duration and quality. It straightens your lungs, leading to more oxygen, increased lung capacity, and better performance. Moreover, it also enhances your immunity and endurance.

We recommend doing aerobic exercises, such as walking and cycling.

2. Improve air quality

You can keep the window open all night to have fresh ventilation. Using an air purifier may also help. Additionally, you can put various houseplants that remove toxins and produce oxygen inside your place. These houseplants may include peace lilies, chrysanthemums, golden pothos, Chinese evergreen, spider plants, etc.

3. Solve sinus problems

Another way to increase oxygen levels is to solve your breathing problems due to nasal congestion. You can clear your airways by using counter allergy medications, nasal sprays, or neti pot (for not more than three times a day). 

4. Do not sleep on your back

You may opt to sleep sideways to relieve the weight on the airways and lungs. It can improve ventilation for better breathing. Furthermore, it helps remove obstructions and decrease snoring.

5. Use portable oxygen concentrators

Lastly, an overnight portable oxygen concentrator gives you supplemental oxygen during sleep. It maintains your average oxygen level.

Portable oxygen concentrators have different brands, models, flow types, and rates, allowing you to choose which one suits your breathing condition. Nonetheless, you will still need to get a prescription from your respiratory therapist.

Learn more about how oxygen concentrators work here.

Who Needs to Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator at Night?

Even though anyone can experience shortness of breath, not everyone can use oxygen concentrators because excessive oxygen may lead to toxicity. In this case, only people with breathing and respiratory disorders can receive prescriptions from doctors.

Some examples of these disorders are:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Lung diseases
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Congenital heart disease

5 Benefits of Oxygen Therapy at Night

man wearing a nasal cannula attached to a portable oxygen concentrator

Oxygen therapy is one of the best ways to aid respiratory disorders. It can contribute to maintaining the body's oxygen levels.

Listed below are more benefits of using oxygen therapy at night.

1. It improves sleep

Oxygen therapy enhances your sleep cycle by providing adequate oxygen supply to your body. You can have a better night's sleep because there will be no disruption resulting from a possible lack of oxygen. 

2. It makes your mood better

One sign of low oxygen at night is getting depression and anxiety for no reason. Fortunately, oxygen therapy ensures that you get the oxygen you need during sleep.

Consequently, it reduces the risks of getting emotional problems, restlessness, disorientation, or confusion. It can help you feel better and lighter every day.

3. It allows you to be active

Not getting the needed amount of oxygen at night can lead to fatigue during the day. However, it's a relief that oxygen therapy can give you more oxygen to increase your stamina. You can have the energy to finish tasks, accomplish household chores, and do the activities you love. 

4. It lessens shortness of breath

Oxygen therapy can also decrease breathlessness or shortness of breath. Nevertheless, it may only lessen but not wholly take these situations away. Moreover, as stated earlier, you will need to get prescriptions first before using one because not everyone can do oxygen therapy for mere breathlessness.

5. It reduces health risks

Undergoing oxygen therapies at night may also reduce the risk of getting health problems. Since you are getting the amount of oxygen you need, you can worry less about having health issues, such as heart failure, arrhythmias, pulmonary hypertension, and other similar cases.

5 Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators You Can Use While Sleeping

Portable oxygen concentrators can play a significant role in oxygen therapy, even during nighttime. It can serve as your supplemental oxygen whenever and wherever you are.

You can check this list below to find your desired oxygen concentrator for night use.

1. Inogen One G3

The Inogen One G3 is one of the leading and most loved oxygen concentrators due to its small, durable, and lightweight design. It can last for 8 hours, which works best for a reliable oxygen therapy overnight. 

Even though this oxygen concentrator only supports pulse rate, many patients undergoing oxygen therapies have loved it for night use. Its Intelligent Delivery Technology can ensure oxygen delivery within the first 400 milliseconds after detecting your breath, guaranteeing a consistent oxygen supply.

Moreover, it responds to your breathing rate and detects mouth breaths too.

2. Inogen One G5

Another oxygen concentrator from Inogen is the Inogen One G5. This night oxygen machine features an Intelligent Sleep Mode Technology that detects breath rates during sleep time. It can also sense shallow mouth breaths to give a bolus dose based on your breathing activity.

You can worry less about battery life because it can last up to 13 hours when using double batteries. It is also portable and lightweight, weighing 4.7 lbs only.

3. SeQual Eclipse 5

SeQual Eclipse 5 is a night time oxygen machine with dual flow types, supporting continuous and pulse rates. It can have a flow setting of 9 LPM on pulse flow and 0.5 to 3 LPM in continuous flow.

This oxygen concentrator under CAIRE is advisable for 24/7 usage. It is also CPAP and BiPAP compatible. Moreover, its oxygen delivery can ensure up to 90% oxygen purity.

Most of all, SeQual Eclipse 5 has a sleeping mode for night use. Its oxygen output constantly adjusts depending on your breath rate. You can ensure that you get an appropriate amount of oxygen during the night.

4. Oxlife Freedom

Oxlife Freedom tops the list when comparing battery lives and recharge time. You can rest easy about draining it out because it can get fully charged in no time. It works best during busy schedules, long trips, nights out, and family gatherings. 

Oxlife Freedom may be your number one pick if you are a light sleeper because it supports a quiet operation feature for sleeping. You can guarantee that such machine noises will not disturb you. 

Aside from that, this oxygen concentrator also ensures that you are getting enough oxygen supply because it immediately detects if your breath gets slower or shallower. Consequently, it adjusts its oxygen output to your breathing needs.

5. Respironics SimplyGo

Another one on the list of the best portable oxygen concentrators for 24/7 usage is the Respironics SimplyGo. It is compatible with CPAP and BiPAP machines and supports pulse and continuous flow types. It can have a pulse rate of 1 to 6 LPM and a continuous rate of 0.5 to 2 LPM.

Falling asleep is not a problem because Respironics SimplyGo also has a sleep mode technology feature, allowing you to turn it on for oxygen supply while sleeping. It then increases its sensitivity to detect your breathing rate.

Fear not about getting disturbed because this oxygen machine softens its oxygen delivery to ensure that it will not wake you up.

What To Expect When Sleeping With An Oxygen Concentrator?

Unfortunately, you can expect some side effects from using oxygen concentrators at night. Thankfully, these things are not very alarming because most of them are common and you can solve them in no time.

1. Oxygen concentrator sound

Light sleepers may get disturbed by portable oxygen concentrators, especially when you have mistakenly bought a machine with high noise levels. It may provide you with an adequate oxygen supply, but it will still cause you to lack sleep due to the disruptions.

Solution

When buying portable oxygen concentrators, do enough research beforehand to avoid getting machines with high noise levels. We recommend buying oxygen concentrators with 48 decibels and below.

2. Nose dryness

Do not get alarmed by nose dryness because most people using portable oxygen concentrators can experience this due to the drying effect on nasal passages. Consequently, you can also suffer nose bleeding from nasal dryness.

Solution

You can use humidifiers as a long-term solution. On the other hand, you can find moisturizing products like nasal gel or saline nasal mist to lubricate your nose and reduce dryness.

3. Skin irritation

Due to dryness, your skin may also break down, leading to skin irritations. It is usually because of the cannula rubbing against your skin when using portable oxygen concentrators.

Solution

Skin irritation somewhat relates to nose dryness. You may also use moisturizers to lessen the dryness and give lubrication to your skin. 

4. Use the appropriate oxygen rate

When using a portable oxygen concentrator, inappropriate oxygen rates may harm your heart, lungs, and brain. It may also lead to oxygen toxicity.

Aside from that, high oxygen levels may increase radical formation, leading to mild to severely damaged lungs. You may also get different lung diseases, such as mild tracheobronchitis and diffuse alveolar damage.

Solution

You can go to your nearest respiratory therapist to perform an arterial blood gas (ABG) test or oximetry. This test will let you determine your oxygen flow rate by measuring your oxygen levels in the blood. After this, your therapist may prescribe what flow rate you should have.

5. Portable oxygen concentrator maintenance

Due to the constant usage of portable oxygen concentrators every day, some may encounter damage and wear, especially when you do not perform regular maintenance. This situation may lead to further machine errors that may cause an inability to use it.

Solution

We advise doing inspections daily or a few days a week. You can also clean the filters to ensure that they do not become clogged with dirt. Please follow the maintenance instructions provided on your machine, if there are any.

6. Battery life

It can be slightly annoying to have your oxygen concentrator drained when using it since you will be forced to stop and let it recharge for a while. This situation can be harmful to people who need emergency oxygen supplies.

Solution

Ensure always to check the battery life. Most portable oxygen concentrators have LCDs to see the status of your machine. You can also opt to use double batteries to have longer battery life.

7. Use the machine with caution

Some people need to use portable oxygen concentrators daily for a constant oxygen supply. Those with low oxygens while sleeping may also become required to have oxygen therapies 24/7. Therefore, it is advisable to use the machine with extra caution and ensure correct usage to avoid complications.

Solution

Follow your respiratory therapist's prescriptions to avoid oxygen toxicity and achieve the best outcomes. 

8. Maintaining the position of the cannula or oxygen mask

The rubber on your nasal cannula or mask may scratch your skin. Furthermore, the nasal prongs may also brush inside your nostrils, which can be uncomfortable and painful.

Solution

First, you can wrap the rubber in white first-aid tape to ease the pain whenever it scratches your skin. Also, ensure that the cannula or oxygen mask fits comfortably around your mouth and chin.

Aside from that, lubricate the ends of the nasal prongs using a thin layer of water-based lubricants. You can also use saline nasal sprays daily to moisturize and relieve pain.

FAQs About Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator While Sleeping

We also listed and answered some frequently asked questions about using portable oxygen concentrators while sleeping.

Can you leave the oxygen concentrator on all night?

Yes. Leaving the oxygen concentrator on all night is safe and advisable for people with respiratory conditions and breathing problems. However, you will need to check and ensure that your battery life is enough to have it working throughout the entire night. If not, your machine will most likely turn off on its own. 

Can I Use My CPAP Machine with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Yes. We understand that some patients undergoing CPAP therapies also need oxygen supplies. Fortunately, you can connect your CPAP machine to your portable oxygen concentrator and use them together. However, note that only those oxygen concentrators with continuous flow types can support this.

Can I Connect My BiPAP Machine to a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Yes. Connecting a BiPAP machine to a portable oxygen concentrator is similar to using a CPAP machine. You can follow the exact instructions without troubling yourself too much. You can also check the products listed earlier, such as the SeQual Eclipse 5 or Respironics SimplyGo because they can be compatible with CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Can you use portable oxygen concentrators 24/7?

Yes. Unlike any other oxygen tanks, portable oxygen concentrators do not need oxygen refills because they can get air from the surroundings and filter them out, producing pure oxygen. Hence, you can turn it on 24/7 and use it anytime because it can provide oxygen supplies 24 hours daily.

Learn more about how long a portable oxygen concentrator lasts here.

Is it advisable to sleep with an oxygen concentrator at night?

Yes. It will be beneficial for people suffering from breathing problems and respiratory complications. It will help them have a constant oxygen supply throughout the night to avoid the harmful effects of lacking sleep and low oxygen levels while sleeping.

Sleep Comfortably With A Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Nothing should stop you from using a portable oxygen concentrator all night for oxygen therapy, especially when you have breathing problems and long-term conditions.

Our breathing activities slow down when we’re sleeping, so using oxygen machines can help maintain oxygen levels.

Since you have already read this post about using portable oxygen concentrators, you can now choose which brand and type you prefer to use every time you sleep. You can also check our portable oxygen concentrator store online store to see if something piques your interest.

Can You Sleep with A Portable Oxygen Concentrator infographic

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