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HealthInfo Canterbury

CPAP trial

You are being offered a trial of CPAP therapy. CPAP is a machine that treats obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.

Normally when you go to sleep, your throat muscles hold your airway open. If you have OSA, your throat muscles relax too much when you are asleep. This causes pauses in your breathing. Often people are not aware that this happens.

Untreated OSA can affect your long-term health. It can cause problems with blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

What can CPAP do for my sleep?

A CPAP machine blows air through your nose (or nose and mouth) into your throat area. The airflow supports your throat muscles and keeps your airway open. This prevents the pauses in your breathing and helps you sleep better. Sleeping better stops you feeling as tired through the day and improves your overall health.

CPAP is only a treatment for OSA, not a cure. There is currently no cure for OSA. But losing weight and making some lifestyle changes may help to improve your OSA and quality of sleep.

What is involved in a CPAP Trial?

Christchurch Hospital's Sleep Unit

This map shows the Sleep Unit's location.


To contact the Sleep Unit, phone (03) 364‑1089 or email Messages are checked regularly.

If you need to contact the Sleep Unit, please have the following information available:

USL Medical contact details

Phone: 0800‑875‑2727


On the next page: Long-term CPAP therapy

Written by Sleep Unit, Canterbury DHB. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Sleep Unit, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed September 2017.


Page reference: 267400

Review key: HIOSA-12505