How long to wait for CPAP to feel the benefits?

by Dana

I recently was diagnosed with sleep apnea, getting about 70% oxygen while sleeping.

How long will it take for me to see results? How long to wait for CPAP to feel the benefits?

I have other health issues and right now, have no energy.

Thanks for your input.


Dear Dana,

For some reason, it takes longer for some of us to feel the benefits of CPAP than others. Sometimes the CPAP machine, the prescription, or the mask isn't right, and for other patients, it just plain takes longer.

You didn't tell us when did you start the CPAP treatment. It could be helpful. You may not have complete relief of your excessive sleepiness but as long as you are getting good CPAP therapy - which means little to no mask leaks and an apnea hypopnea index of less than 5 - your body will not be struggling to stop you from suffocating yourself every night.

You may start to notice in time little things like being less cranky, fewer headaches, thinking a little clearer, your blood pressure going down, or not having to get up in the night to go to the bathroom as often.

So, for the question of how long it takes for CPAP therapy to have effect, you should not be asked until you are into this for at leas three month or so.

However, use the machine every night, at least 3 to 6 months, until you can feel a difference from how you feel now. Most likely you have had untreated sleep apnea side effects for a long time, and there are residual effects that linger, sleep debt that needs to be recovered.

You also have to consider your other conditions that can be masked by sleep apnea. So it takes time for some of us...

Do you have a CPAP machine that shows your AHI and leak rate from an LCD screen? This could be a good thing, because you can wake up in the morning and see the results immediately. Also, you will recall possible reasons that caused the prior night the AHI to be higher than normal, of find what helps to keep the AHI low.

Bottom line? Keep at it, Dana! You will start feeling better in a matter of weeks! Your body is just trying to catch up on its backlog of sleep, only if you receive a good CPAP therapy.

However, if read from the LCD display from your CPAP machine, that AHI is higher than 5, then the quality of your therapy is not so good. You have to improve it. Check if you have mask leaks, and if your air pressure is correct.

Please read the next articles to learn more about your situation:

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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