LTG1 wrote:How long does it take to get the benefits of CPAP once you start wearing the mask?
It's a basic question, but so many questions are similar but different, I haven't found an answer yet. To clarify:
1) Forget how long it takes to get used to CPAP. I know that is a major issue worthy of lots of discussion, but let's assume you have been able to wear it on a daily basis...
2) I know it varies - but what about in general? For example if someone asks about recovery from the common cold, we can say: The majority feel better after 7 days, 20% need 14 days to recover, etc, etc (made up stats).
3) If it matters, or if anyone cares, my specifics: Just completed third night of CPAP and in the morning the machine index is showing around 3.0 (good right?). On my sleep study I was only able to score 9 full apneas, but managed to score over 100 hypopneas :). Oxygen low point was 78%. Overall index was over 40.
After 3 nights I definitely feel different - but it's a weird feeling - groggy for a much longer period of time, like I was put to sleep by animal tranquilizer dart.
I think I feel a bit better but definitely not "cured". My main hope is to regain my ability to concentrate for long periods. I'm a computer programmer and currently I can work for about an hour before it gets really difficult.
I want to be hopeful!
Thank you -
Hey there hopeful!
Assuming that your CPAP therapy is going well:
In the first 30 days I would expect you to experience-
REM rebound. You will want to sleep and sleep. You many note that your are dreaming more, but you may simply be aware of sort of a time where you feel kind of satisfied and no longer feel the need to sleep and sleep (two to three weeks).
You will start to feel it when you are tired again. It is kind of like someone put tape over that silly "exhaustion warning light" which "must" be broke since it is on all the time -- well now it starts to come on and mean something. You will feel it more when you are tired.
You will experience improved performance at work and home. Do not expect the world here, you have been strangling yourself for a long time, damage to many systems is in the process of repair, and stamina - especially the high performing executive functioning you need to program - will come back slow. CPAP is only part of what you need to develop back as much stamina as possible. Think good eating, good moving (yoga, sports, cardio, strength, accuracy), and good loving as in social and love life. When tired rest but let the good times roll.
You need to be aware of the fact that if you exhaust yourself your therapy will be less likely to work well. Stress causes inflammation, inflammation frustrates CPAP. You are likely very good at ignoring how you feel -- well, it is high time to change that. Get the software for your CPAP ASAP and use it!! It will help you to know when your therapy is not going well and that is information you need to know!!
To six months:
You have a lot to learn about what happened to you and what you can do about it. Read the books, articles, research papers (sleep medicine is a new and rapidly developing science) and spend time on the forums. This way, you will know about the new therapy when it comes out and hopefully avoid the pot holes others have fallen into.
All going well, you should experience a slower but steady increase in performance. This is also enough time, however, for some of the damage to become apparent in that blood sugar, cardio vascular, executive functioning, and such sorry realities as professional reputation issues may surface. It was probably many years before OSA was caught and damage to the life was occurring all that time. It is a time of finding out what was damaged (so fails sooner than hoped) and what works to get the most out of what you have left.
Looking at your numbers I would guess that while I am on the very affected portion of the damage graph (see my AHI but especially my SpO2 minimum in my signature) you are only about a third as far along as I. In my case after I was proscribed with CPAP a severe trauma occurred to me only related to OSA in that OSA led to the poverty which made me more vulnerable to the assault and robbery that occurred. In my case I will be a bit surprised if I obtain more than 35% of what I would have been without the untreated OSA and trauma. In your case I would expect you to return to about 90% of your unaffected functioning within six months to a year provided that your CPAP therapy is effective and you make good healthy lifestyle changes which you keep during that time. I make this wild guess using what I have read in thousands of posts here, the hundreds of research abstracts I have read, hundreds of articles, dozens of full research papers, dozens of web seminars I have attended, and hand full of books, along with my own silly tendency to gather a lot of data about what happens to me daily.
Carry on young person, you have a lot of good life ahead of you. Please do enjoy it!