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

Comments for How long to wait for CPAP to feel the benefits?

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Mar 20, 2017
by: Anonymous

Surely there is a typical range.
Cause after four nites I feel worse.
More tired and I can no longerwalk safely without support.
Me, I'm thinking that perhaps pap is c-r-a-p.

Apr 28, 2017
by: Anonymous

Wonderful blog and discussion/advice.
I am using cpap autoset for 1month
How do i know i am getting the benefits?
Technically speaking...My AHI is down.Is there a oxygen sensor to measure oxygen level etc. How i know now i am not snoring..
Technically, how i know i ma getting benefits
I am not feeling the euphoria i was expecting when i wake up in the morning?
Pls reply...

Jul 09, 2018
how long
by: Anonymous

after more than 2 years I still feel worse

Jul 24, 2018
Best thing ever
by: Anonymous

I have been using my APAP for 2 and a half weeks (18 days)and i can definitely feel the benefits.

- No more headache (Vs headache all day every day)
- No muscular fatigue (i am able to workout again)
- Noticeable improvement in overall mood.
- Brain fogginess considerably reduced, have translated into a more productive work day.
- Snoring disappeared (confirmed by my wife.

This is my very personal experience with the APAP therapy so far and i am expecting to get way better.

Aug 21, 2019
Tired after CPAP therapy
by: Pat

Is this situation normal? I started CPAP therapy at the end of January 2019, in April I began to feel the benefits and July I was feeling great and full of energy. Then, the middle of July I had major surgery; colon resection, hernia repair, gall bladder removed. While recuperating from surgery I never stop using the CPAP, now I feel tired all the time and give out of breath when walking long distance. Is this normal, will I get back to having energy again?

Dec 16, 2019
CPAP minimally effective
by: Tired and disappointed

Have used my machine every night for almost three years, at least 5 hours per night. My numbers are good, however, I don't feel much better, certainly not energetic.

Without the CPAP, I get more (and worse) morning headaches but still get headaches with it. Usually tired all day and wiped out in the evening. About every three months, I am so exhausted that I sleep well for one night. Had recent thyroid test, which showed good function.

So, somehow, I've missed the benefits, despite trying so hard. My PA says some people just are that way, and there's nothing to be done.

Mar 26, 2020
New CPAP user
by: Anonymous

I tried the full mask and had a difficult time. My doctor said to keep using. Complained to my friends and they alll use the pillow. My doctor said to continue with full mask, but my buddy had some extra pillow units which I am trying. The problem I am finding with the pillow is that after the machine reaches full pressure I have to open my mouth and air just gushes out and I have the feelling of sufffiction. Then I have a problem of getting back to sleep. Also is it OK to take a sleeping pill.

Aug 10, 2020
Snake Oil?
by: Anonymous

I feel like I'm being pressured to embrace a treatment that might not be overly successful.

Mar 26, 2021
5 months in high bp still NEW
by: Anonymous

well im 5 months in wearing it everynight for more than 7 hrs and when i wake up bp is still high around 145/85 that is with 10mg of lisinpril and 10mg of amlodapine...

Apr 23, 2021
Newbie feeling much better NEW
by: bill

I started 3 weeks ago. I started feeling better almost immediately. I did experiment with masks and currently use a nasal pillow most of the time. After about 5 days of that the bridge of my nose hurts so I switch to a full face mask. SO i rotate. The biggest issue i had was a dry nose and nasal passages. I increased humidification and bought a heated hose which has alleviated the problem. I also have changed my sleep position. I used to mash my head into the pillow for many years. I cant do this any more. So Im learning to sleep on my back and side. My blood pressure dropped from 160/90 to 126/76 after three weeks therapy. I went from severe (66 ahis) to average of 7 and some nights Im under 5 ahis. Getting there. You have to know the human body was engineered to sleep 1/3 of your life. So Im willing to deal with it all and have felt the results already. At the end of the day we have to know that everyone is different and some cant tolerate the cpap. Im lucky I can. Hopefully one day there is a treatment that is easier than this but if this is what I need to do to feel like a human being again i will do it. Good luck to everyone!

Jul 11, 2023
from Balloon to Buff NEW
by: Dixon Butts

I have been using an APAP for 5 months now. Night one felt like a monkey with a bicycle pump on my face. On night two, I found out I was opening my mouth in the middle of night when I woke up to find my pup standing on me enjoying the breeze on his face. I switched to a full mask a couple days later, and had to deal with it blowing up my nose, cheeks, and filling me up like a balloon.

It took a while, but 5 months later I can honestly say it has completely changed my life. I now love my APAP. I am well rested, work out harder, think smarter, run faster, lift heavier, and I think I grew in height. Things I can do now that I couldn't in the past.

Photosynthesis. I don't need to eat, I live off the rays of the sun.
Time travel.
Speak Italian.
My tears cure bacterial infections.
I hear rainfall in the distance... no matter how far away it is.
My fingernails are indestructible. They are about 7" long now.

I am concerned that I may be immortal. Since I do not want to live forever once humanity has faded away, at some point I will probably stop using my APAP. But that day is not today.

Rock on, monkey hose.

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