Diagnosed sleep apnea, looking for metrics pre/post treatment

I got diagnosed sleep apnea this week. I’m waiting for an appointment to start treatments and I was wondering what could be useful informative metrics to track the effects of the treatment. I’m hoping that the constant subjective feeling of tiredness will subside, but it will be increasingly difficult to remember the difference to pre-treatment feeling. Also, it would be just plain interesting to see what, if anything changes quantifiably during this process.

I haven’t been tracking much lately and partly blame the condition: I’ve hardly had energy to slog through my normal duties. To be able to track and analyze myself seems to require just a bit too much to make me bother with it. That said, the prospect of the treatment has given me some extra energy.

Please go to this forum below, register, and begin your education. There is much to learn. Check the sticky posts at the top of the Sleep Apnea forum page. I suggest, after you register, you post, and ask this same question you posted here. I think you’ll find that you will get many helpful replies. There are things you must know before you get your first equipment so that you will indeed be able to measure your progress. You will find assistance with that on the forum.
See you there,

I found the best measure I had was how much energy I had one hour after waking up. I use a 6-point scale 0=None, 5=100% rested. Recently at a local QS meeting, I did presentation of a comparison of iPhone app SleepCycle and a Fitbit to the breathing data that was provided by my machine. I was impressed with how similar those apps were in terms of what happened during my sleep, and the more objective outcomes seem to agree with what I observed, so you could probably start using one of those apps/devices (I’m sure any of the other ones are pretty good as well, I just didn’t try them) and then comparing pre/post and see if it’s saying your sleep quality is better.

Honestly, though, the best advice I can give is to be sure to give it enough of a try. I initially attempted without much success for a month or two and gave it up since it was too uncomfortable. When I re-tried 1 year+ later, I got a better machine (one with different pressure on inhale and exhale) and humidity, and that made all the difference. Recently I upgraded to an AutoPap and it is just amazing. My pressure setting was way too high so it fixed that, and the amount of noise generated from the machine is near nothing. The only drawback of these “better” machines, is that insurance wouldn’t cover them, so it’s out of pocket costs but I found it worth it. (I find that cpap.com has really good prices if your insurance doesn’t cover them).

If you want to look at the breathing data, I found sleepyhead (free open-source) a good program to do it. Just try and get a machine that it will import the data of.

Anyway, now that I’ve been using regularly, the real metric I use to determine that it is helping is that when I go off it for a couple days I become thoroughly exhausted. At this point I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s amazing!

Hi, in addition to jajvirta’s comments, a couple other easy things to follow are:

  1. How many times you get up in the night to urinate.
  2. Blood pressure - an inexpensive, $50-$60, monitor from Wal-Mart will do,

Both of these tend to decrease in many people over time with treatment.

But, as jajvirta implied, probably the best measure is how you feel.

Do insist on a fully data capable machine and get SleepyHead or the appropriate software to track the efficacy of your treatment. Visit this site for lot of help and guidance.


I didn’t do too many hard quantifications pre and post treatment. I realized after the treatment that although I had aspirations to quantify all sorts of things, I just didn’t have the energy and discipline to keep up with tracking stuff. My tiredness was so deep (although I was only few months into the symptoms of sleep apnea) that I mostly just slogged through the days with the bare minimum.

That said, it seems at least my blood pressure has dropped few ticks. Pre-treatment it was around 125-130/85-90, and couple of weeks into the treatment it’s been 120-125/75-80.

Of course, the treatment did wonders to my general feeling and removed most of the tiredness. At least it’s mostly under my control nowadays. I used to be tired every day and pretty much all the time. Now it’s only when I accidentally skip using the machine or for some other reason have a rough night.

And yes, I’ve installed SleepyHead and I’m following the statistics given by the CPAP machine. :slight_smile:


I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea 2 years ago and have been using a ResMed CPAP machine since then. I find Sleepyhead very comprehensive but almost too much data. It’s also a pain to have to download data from memory card to computer. I’ve recently changed to the latest ResMed machine which transmits data remotely to a central server. A summary of this is available to view using a app called myAir. Very simple data but gives an accurate reading of length of sleep, mask leakage, number of apnoea events per hour and an overall myAir score.

Fairly basic but I find it great and easy to spot trends. Only slight drawback is that it only shows 14 nights worth of data. One other advantage is that you Dr or sleep therapist can also log in to view your data at any time.

Dave Hawkins