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April 16, 2008 • Reviews

Review: Pur Sleep Aroma Therapy for CPAP Users

First, before we get into today’s review, I want to talk a little about Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is when you stop breathing while you sleep. The worst part of Sleep Apnea is a lot of people who have it don’t even know it. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • Loud snoring.

  • Waking up gasping for air.

  • Waking up in a sweat.

  • Feeling unrefreshed in the morning.

  • Headaches, sore throat and dry mouth in the morning.

  • Sleepiness during the day.

Now I know what your going to ask. How do you know for sure if you have Sleep Apnea? Well, first you go to a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders. My Doctor’s name is Dr. Erika Poehm and she is with Columbus Sleep Consultants. She did an initial examination and gave me a quiz to determine how well rested I was. As a result of the initial examination, she ordered two Sleep Studies called Polysomnograms. During the first study, they put wires on your head to measure brain wave activity and eye movement, wires on your legs to measure how much your legs move, a set of bands across your chest to measure heart beats, a sensor on your finger for measuring how much oxygen is in your blood and finally a sensor in your nose to measure if you stop breathing. You go to sleep at the sleep study center and the technician monitors your sensors and watches you on a camera. This is also recorded so that the doctor can see what you do in your sleep. This same test will also determine if you have RLS or Restless Legs Syndrome. My results indicated that I stopped breathing 11 times per hour. Also, the oxygen level in my blood dropped to 89 percent. The normal level is 98.

So at the second test, they fit you with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask, as well as wiring you up like before. Then they start the pressure off low and increase the pressure of the air blowing in until you have no apneas; this second study is called the titration study. It is during this study they determine what pressure you will need prescribed to fix your apneas.

My Apnea is a mild form, but it does require that I sleep with a CPAP machine. So every night, I go to bed like this.

Me in my Mask

CPAP is the most common treatment for Sleep Apnea since it’s the least invasive of the treatments with another option being surgery.

Now, finally I am getting to the review portion and for this part, I will have some help! Kerry Woo is also a fellow sufferer and has also volunteered to help review the Pur-Sleep product.

Pur-Sleep is aroma theraphy for CPAP users. The main thing it attempts to do is to help you with your CPAP compliance. One negative of CPAP therapy is that the mask, tubing and machine generally smells, well, like plastic. Pur-Sleep attempts to use aromatherapy to cover up the smell and to help relax you as you drift off to sleep with your CPAP mask on.

Pur Sleep

Included in the basic Pur-Sleep kit is a ceramic tray, diffusion pads and 3 essential oils. For the review, Kerry and I received these scents:

  • Clear – peppermint, lime, and lavender essential oils, with a touch of clary sage.

  • Spice – sweet orange, real cloves, and Bay Rum (a clove-like oil from the East Indies)

  • Peace – a blend of pure, French lavender 40/42

  • Vanilla – Vanilla….reminds me of sugar cookies.

  • Calm

  • Strawberry

First, you set your machine up like you usually do. Then you take the diffusion pad on the tray and put 1-3 drops (no more than 5 drops is recommended) on the pad and set the pad near the intake of your CPAP machine.

Pur Sleep Applying the Oil

I have tried all of the flavors. My top three are:

  1. Clear

  2. Vanilla

  3. Spice

Vanilla really reminded me of sugar cookies. Going to sleep with this oil was heavenly.

Clear really opened up my passage ways. The peppermint and lime scents worked well together and helped me just relax and concentrate on sleep instead of the silly mask on my face.

Spice is a warm smell; it was very relaxing to me and I loved the orange in this scent.

Peace is the one which is all lavender and while it’s a very relaxing scent, it smelled the strongest of all of the oils, to me. If I put anything more than one drop of this on the pad, it was too strong. Less is definitely more with this one.

Strawberry smelled ok, but it just wasn’t that relaxing of a scent to me.

Calm had a lot of Eucalyptus smell to me. I didn’t really care for it at all and it was my least favorite.

Over all, I have to say that Pur-Sleep didn’t really help my compliance. When faced with all of the health concerns about being afflicted with Sleep Apnea, I decided that no matter how frustrating and uncomfortable it was, I would get used to it no matter what. That’s really the key to this therapy. So, my compliance was already high since I don’t really like the idea of dying just yet. 😉

If for some reason something isn’t working, something like Pur-Sleep can help; but ultimately you need to work with your doctor and the Durable Medical Equipment supplier to tailor your therapy to best suit you. If for some reason you find your still not getting the rest you should with or without Pur-Sleep, then talk to your doctor. It may require a change in pressure. You may need to switch styles of masks or even just a different mask design in the same style. CPAP therapy must work for you, and you must be as comfortable as possible to get the sleep you need.

In my case, Pur-Sleep helped me relax a lot. It sped up the time it took me to fall asleep. Using Pur-Sleep wasn’t a miracle, I am still slightly annoyed that I have this tube hanging from my face. However, not going to sleep with it on is much worse for me so I just try to make the best of it. Pur-Sleep definitely helps me concentrate less on the hose. If I close my eyes and try to ignore the pressure of the straps on my head; I can imagine I am smelling sugar cookies or a nice herbal tea. With Pur-Sleep I could almost forget I was wearing the mask, until I rolled over! 😉

In case you have any concerns about the safety of the product, please visit the Pur-Sleep website for more information.

Lastly, before I sign off this review, I want to say that if you suspect that you may have sleep apnea I implore you to go get checked. Go see a sleep doctor and get a polysomnogram. The best possible thing is you find out you don’t have it. If you do find out you have it, get treated. Don’t hesitate to give Pur-Sleep a try! It’s not a miracle product, but it definitely enhances an uncomfortable situation.

Kerry will be providing his opinion on the product at a later time, and give his unique opinion on it.  We planned on this being a dual review with both opinions together, but Kerry just started a new job and is very busy so he’ll also be adding his thoughts soon.  I feel, especially on this product, the more opinions you hear the better.  What I think are good scents may not be the same as Kerry’s choices.  Everyone has different tastes, so Kerry will definitely add something to this review.

Pricing: $29.99 -$59.99 for a starter pack. Oil refills which include a new diffusion pad are $7.95 for 5 ml and $17.95 for 15 ml.

Pur-Sleep is available at http://www.pur-sleep.com

What I liked: Helped the relaxation a lot. Did mostly cover up the plastic smell.

What I didn’t care for: Some of the scents I tried will definitely not be reordered. However I anticipate ordering a Clear refill soon! 😀 Also I have found some scents needed more than the 3 drops. Your mileage may vary on this one.

5 Responses to " Review: Pur Sleep Aroma Therapy for CPAP Users "

  1. mpmarus says:

    My CPAP machine has a disposable cotton filter under a washable foam filter. I can get the same results by putting a few drops of essential oils on the cotton. I especially like the blends of oils at Flutterbye Aromatics (http://flutterbyearomatics.com/synergies.htm); not cheap, but blended by a certified aromatherapist. And some of them will, in fact, encourage sleep!

  2. Joel Mclaughlin says:

    I do not recommend doing this as you may cause damage to your CPAP machine. your mileage may vary. Mine also has this filter but the way Pur Sleep works extends the amount of time the oils diffuse. Again, Your mileage may very.

    This is similar to the fact some people who are on CPAP will fight tooth and nail to go to a full face mask and even go to the extent of taping your mouth shut to avoid a fill face mask.

  3. mpmarus says:

    My mileage evidently does vary.

    I am not interested in endangering my expensive CPAP machine and fail to see how applying oils to a cotton filter does that – the oils don’t get inside the unit and the airflow is not blocked.

    By all means, I’m in favor of anything that will encourage those who need to use CPAP to do so. If the Pur system does that for you, great.

  4. epoehm says:

    I am Dr. Poehm, I was the sleep specialist, the patient mentioned in the above article. I am no longer working for Columbus Sleep Consultants.

    I would caution patients using any vaporized oily substances ( aromatic essential oils) to inhale because it is dangerous and can cause respiratory problems.

    Keep the CPAP or BIPAP mashine, the water container and the masks clean.
    Wash the mask and tubing with soap and water, rinse well and let dry.

    Try different masks, to make sure that you have the best fit.

    Keep nasal passages clear, use saline nasal spray or ask your doctor about other prescription nasal sprays.

    Dr. E.P.

  5. Joel McLaughlin says:

    Thank you for your input. I no longer use the oils mostly because I just haven’t had to lately. It doesn’t bother me as much any more.

    With that said, it’s important to note this product doesn’t touch any part of the CPAP equipment.

    As always, ask your doctor before trying anything!

    Thanks again for the input and good luck on your future endeavor’s Dr. Poehm!

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