A friend brought this phenomenon to my attention, so of course I had to do some research. What I have found is not only disturbing, but can be extremely dangerous!!!
What people do not realize, essential oils have the same chemical constituents as prescription and non-prescription drugs. The glaring difference is that essential oils are natural, while medications are created in a lab and come with a lot of side effects. I applaud those of you who want a more natural approach to your life, please, let's do it safely.
One website stated "Simply set up the Diffuser in front of the CPAP filter, place a few drops of Essential Oil on the Diffusion Pad and use your CPAP equipment as you normally do. The Pur-Sleep Diffuser lightly scents the air with one of several fragrances as the air is drawn into the CPAP machine." Then I found this on a different page. "Essential oils are concentrated and may be harmful if not used properly. That said, using essential oils shouldn’t cause undue anxiety or worry. Following common sense guidelines is all that is necessary to begin to enjoy the many benefits of aromatherapy in connection with your CPAP. These guidelines are not intended to serve as a comprehensive essential oil safety reference. If in doubt, consult your doctor or a trained aromatherapy practitioner. Less Is More. With essential oils, more is not necessary better. Use the smallest amount of essential oil necessary to accomplish your goals. With your CPAP, a light background scent is all that is necessary. A few drops go a long way."
A few drops, what does a few drops mean to you? Is that like a couple minutes, or maybe? lol To me, a "few" drops could be anywhere from 1-10, possibly more depending on what I am doing. Please contact a trained aromatherapy practitioner as they stated you should do above. I would tell you to this isn't a good idea and not to do it.
I wonder how many people have tried this and woken up with heart palpitations, a headache, dizziness, didn't sleep well or many other complications. Diffusing into your CPAP machine is like hanging your head over your diffuser for a couple hours, no one needs that much essential oil in their body. You are receiving a much larger dose having the diffuser send the essential oils into your CPAP machine than by applying a properly diluted essential oil blend on your body.
As an aromatherapist, I make retail blends, and other aromatherapy products to sell. On days when I make these blends, I am most likely smelling the oils for an hour, 2 or even more. I need to get up and take a break at least every 1/2 hour otherwise I get a headache or a little dizzy. Think about having the diffusing pad in your CPAP machine all night. You are not going to get up and breathe fresh air every 1/2 hour as to not overwhelm your central nervous system, are you? That would defeat the purpose of having the oils in the first place to help you sleep.
My recommendation for diffusing essential oils in a home is 30 minutes on, 60 minutes off and repeat if necessary. When diffusing in a small space, such as a bedroom, turn the diffuser on 15-30 minutes before you go to bed and turn it off after the 15-30 minutes are up and you are going to bed. The CPAP machine is best left as is and no essential oils added. Diffuse before bed with an essential oil diffuser or add a properly diluted blend to your body.
So, my professional recommendation as a clinical aromatherapist is..... do not do this. Apply the properly diluted blend on your skin and keep it by your bed at night. Should you happen to wake during the night, reapply the blend to fall back asleep. You will feel more rested and get a better night sleep, free from issues caused by inhaling too high of a dosage of essential oils.
Should you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love and light,
Caution: The material on this page is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.
1 Aromatherapy for CPAP Machines Basic Starter Pack (Pur-Sleep) Web. 17 Feb., 2017.
2 Essential Oil Safety Web. 17 Feb., 2017.