What if I Skip Using My CPAP for One Night?

August 30, 2019

You’ve been using CPAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea for a while now, and you’ve noticed some positive results. You sleep better, your mood has improved, and your partner doesn’t complain about your snoring anymore. However, you are tempted to stop using your CPAP for a night or two. You may want to indulge in a weekend getaway and not drag your machine along, or perhaps you just think the machine is uncomfortable and want to take a break. Will your sleep apnea return right away? What if you want to take a longer vacation from your CPAP? Let’s discuss these questions.

Residual CPAP Benefits

If you wear glasses, their benefits vanish the second you take them off your face. You might think that your CPAP machine is similar. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. Although your CPAP machine cannot cure the physical abnormalities that cause you to stop breathing throughout the night, it can reduce swelling of tissues in the mouth and throat. That reduced swelling allows for easier airflow, and it may take a while for the swelling to worsen again. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that you can set your CPAP aside for a night or two without suffering any negative consequences.

How Long Can You Forgo CPAP Therapy?

Just because you can skip your CPAP for a night or two doesn’t mean you should become someone who uses their CPAP just occasionally. Consistent use is the best way to experience long-lasting relief from obstructive sleep apnea.

You can think of your CPAP like a healthy diet. Just like eating one greasy fast food meal won’t kill you, skipping your CPAP for a night is highly unlikely to cause any lasting harm. But if you only eat well once in a while, your body will suffer — and if you only use your CPAP once in a while, you will be at a greatly increased risk of serious health consequences.

A CPAP Alternative

If you want to take a break from your CPAP machine because you think it is uncomfortable, noisy, or otherwise annoying, that’s a sign you should investigate your options for an alternative sleep apnea treatment.

Dr. Kenneth Mogell, an experienced dental sleep medicine expert, can provide you with an oral sleep appliance. Such an appliance, which resembles a sports mouthguard, does not use pressurized air promote healthy breathing. Rather, it gently repositions the jaw, thereby keeping the airway open and allowing for uninterrupted sleep. An oral sleep appliance is quite small, extremely portable, and free of cumbersome tubes and masks. The majority of sleep apnea sufferers are good candidates for oral appliance therapy.

Are you ready to take a short break from your CPAP? Go ahead and indulge. However, if you are interested in long-term freedom from your machine, schedule an appointment with a dentist who offers oral appliance therapy.

Meet Dr. Mogell

Dr. Kenneth Mogell, a board-certified specialist in sleep medicine with over 10 years of experience treating sleep breathing disorders is the practice’s founder and primary practitioner. The practice has three South Florida locations: Melbourne, Vero Beach, and Boca Raton. To learn more about Florida Dental Sleep Disorders and Dr. Kenneth Mogell, contact our team at 844-294-7559. We accept Medicare, Tricare and most medical insurance!