How long before CPAP works?

The following question is often asked by the CPAP users who want to know how long does it take to see results from a CPAP machine:


How long before CPAP makes a difference?

Answer


Unfortunately I think there is no "right" answer to this question. Every person is different. A lot of people find relief as soon as the first or second night. Others, it could take up to six months or more.

I would suspect you should be able to feel some type of difference sooner than later. If you get to the one month mark and still feel lousy you may want to check in with your doctor. Perhaps even sooner. It may not be 100%, but you should notice something.

If you have other experiences and opinions regarding this problem, please share with us.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide


Comments for How long before CPAP works?

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Aug 24, 2016
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Wow, just wow.
by: Matt

My first full night with the machine I think I had some leaks around the nose area so the next day during a nap I really worked on adjusting the straps to get the mask to fit.

After that the morning after my second night I woke up and thought, dang what's going on with this I kind of feel the same. BUT after about 30 minutes I was wide awake and I have had the best day of alertness in 3 years at least.

I feel like I drank a pot of coffee but I haven't even had 1 cup yet. Usually by 4pm I was ready to get off work and head home and wait for 10pm. It's 4pm now and I haven't begun to wind down. I wish I had done this earlier!!!

Nov 05, 2015
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Immediate effects
by: Mike123

I felt the effects almost immediately. I was able to get a full night of sleep the second night, and that's something that I hadn't experienced in years. The only problem was the skin irritation due to the mask rubbing on my nose, but a different type of mask, as well as nose pads, solved the issue.

Oct 09, 2012
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Looking for miracles
by: WRMayor

Oh dear! I guess I was looking for miracles and was hoping my CPAP maching would help. I've recently been told I have severe apnea. I've been on the CPAP machine 2 weeks. I'm sleeping all night, feel rested when I first get up and have noticed a slight difference in my awareness level in the morning hours. In the afternoon, it's a totally different story. I get whiplash from nodding off and catching myself starting to doze. I've quit snoring which is good but I'm looking forward to when I actually feel rested all day long.

Aug 27, 2010
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I wish it were simple
by: SleepyToo

Gglennaa, how I sympathize. I struggled to get out of bed this morning! I think for me the feeling better is sneaking up on me rather than smacking me right between the eyes. Progressively getting better, but not like the way I felt after the titration study. That was the one between the eyes.

I suspect that the difference is that during the titration study all events were wiped out, but I have still been having a few. Last night my AHI was 0.5 and I felt good after I had dragged myself out of bed.

How I wish it were simple. Switch on the machine, switch off the apnea and all its effects. Wouldn't that be wonderful. However, in my case I know I have had an undiagnosed problem for at least 15 years, possibly as many as 30. So, I expect I have a bit longer of the c**p days being interspersed with the occasional good day.

Aug 27, 2010
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no right answer
by: Glennaa

I have been on the therapy for about 4 months now. I would say it took me a couple of weeks to adjust to the machine first and foremost as well as getting the mask fit right and all of that. I have certainly noticed an increase in my energy level in the ensuing months and I feel almost back to "normal".

My biggest problem is getting up at 6:30 to go to work. My body would apparently prefer to stay up until midnight and sleep until 8 since that is what I usually do when I don't have to get up so early. So getting up that early makes me a bit tired. It's not as bad now that the days are getting longer and it is light outside when I get up.

Aug 27, 2010
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my case
by: CowPhd

I've been on therapy for 6 weeks or so. The first month, I had a few good days and then a few bad days. I switched masks which helped somewhat, but I still wasn't feeling the miracle that I expected.

About a week ago, something clicked in my brain about my mask, my sleeping position, and my ANXIETY. I'm very performance-oriented and I expect results. Immediately.

I think I was so focused on results that I wasn't relaxing enough to fully appreciate the small changes that have come about. I can stay awake past 9pm. I don't get morning headaches anymore. The dark circles around my eyes have faded (a little). My blood pressure's a little lower.

I figure that I was sleep deprived and suffering from hypoxia for so long that it's going to take a while to repair that damage. I still take 2 hour naps on the weekends. I still yawn and rely heavily on a morning cup of coffee, but I know I'm getting better.

Aug 27, 2010
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it depends....
by: Beardface

It depends on what you mean by "relief". My wife was relieved immediately because I wasn't snoring any more, and that is the #1 reason why I continue to use it.

On the other hand, I've been using CPAP for about 7 years and I've never felt any less sleepy as a result of using it. In fact, I usually feel better after sleeping without CPAP ... if there's nobody next to me waking me up to tell me to stop snoring.

Aug 27, 2010
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takes time
by: Brian

It does take time. I'm into my second month with an auto machine and my daytime energy is starting to come around.

Aug 27, 2010
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it's different for everyone
by: Sherylnn

it is different for everyone. I got immediate relief from most of my issues--no more morning headaches, no more sore throats that went away in 1/2 to 1 hour, I no longer woke up feeling like I needed to get some rest (no matter how long I thought I slept), and I no longer had insomnia. However, I'm still dealing with daytime sleepiness.

Making me wonder if it is related to something else.

Dr. did blood test and feels that he ruled out narcolepsy. Anyway, I think how soon you feel the effects of using xpap therapy may depend on the severity of your symptoms. I have moderate apnea and had all of the sympte ons while my husband has severe apnea and hasn't particularly noticed any improvements, but then he had none of effects.


Aug 27, 2010
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much longer in my case
by: Robbie

I was disappointed because I did not notice an immediate result. I never realized that it could take several weeks or even up to six weeks to feel the results.

I have probably gone five to seven years untreated so I knew that there would possibly be a recovery phase! My sleep study showed that there were 78 events per hour. I do notice that I have not awaken as tired as in the past.

Aug 27, 2010
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3rd week
by: Spidey

I started noticing better sleep and more energy about the third week.

I am into week 5 and last night was a bad night not sure if machine is acting up but seemed to awaken a few times feeling like I was gasping.

Hopefully just a one time event but nice to not be sleepy all day long.

Aug 27, 2010
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My first days
by: Indigodreams

I was lucky and took to the treatment immediately. I felt a really amazing difference in the first two weeks. Then the progress slowed but it's definitely still there. Now I am learning first hand how long a sleep debt can last, and also learning that CPAP is not a magic bullet that erases all fatigue. I am an accounting clerk with a particularly busy schedule the first week of each month. I don't work overtime, but I do a lot of intensive, focused, work while I'm there. CPAP won't compensate for that kind of fatigue. Sounds kind of silly to expect that, but I did put in a call to my RT thinking that maybe my treatment was getting less effective.

I just finished my 38th (I think?) day and I'm slowly emerging from my years of being untreated. I get better every day but it's definitely taking time. (I am 100% compliant). I like to look on the bright side of things ~ this is a way for me to learn patience.

Good luck! I know with my treatment, I'm just happy to be finally moving in the right direction!

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