The following questions are often asked by people who have just received a prescription for a sleep apnea CPAP machine, or who are just now getting used to using one to treat the symptoms of sleep apnea.
It’s perfectly normal to have difficulty sleeping the first few nights  with your sleep apnea CPAP machine. Unfortunately, a large percentage of patients are never able to get comfortable, so they’re forced to give up on using their CPAP machine after a few weeks or months. This is one of the major drawbacks of the sleep apnea CPAP machine, and it’s the reason that some models come with humidifiers. Some people remove their mask during the night while they’re sleeping, without knowing it.
For most people, this stops happening after they get more used to wearing the mask, but some people try using Band-Aid or other type of tape to hold the mask on the tape to make it more difficult to remove while sleeping.
Others have found that it helps to use a special CPAP pillow, or switch to one of the BiPAP machines, which removes the difficulty some people have in exhaling against the pressure of the CPAP machine. Unfortunately, the discomfort associated with the mask, hoses and noise causes up to 50% of people who try a CPAP machine to give up their treatment before they see a reduction in their symptoms.

Your doctor should always be your first contact if you have any question about the CPAP machine or any symptoms you may be having. Some users suggest that you get used to the sound of the machine first, and then, perhaps on the second night, put on the mask. If this happens to you, you will want to talk to your doctor about using one of the self-help ideas that have been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of sleep apnea.
They sell a lot of these machines and the equipment that goes with them, so they are often the best source of help. Others take more time to get used to the machine, or find that their symptoms take longer to improve. For people who have less severe symptoms or who cannot get comfortable with a CPAP machine, there are also a number of alternative treatments that are known to be effective. Online sleep apnea forums are good ways to get ideas, but only your doctor knows you and your specific condition. However, other users have found that they are so exhausted from the symptoms of their sleep apnea that they get a good night’s sleep the very first they use the machine.

Some masks are specially designed to help prevent this problem, like the Respironics CPAP mask, which uses a soft gel cushion. If you know you sleep with your  mouth open, you may need either chin straps to keep the mouth closed, or a full-face mask. Rely on your doctor, not on information you find on the Internet, if you have any questions or concerns about your sleep apnea CPAP machine or your treatment program. Some patients are able to stop this from occurring by raising the head of their bed a few inches, using a bed wedge, or switching to one of the AutoCPAP machines. The folks who need to use the machine longer in order to feel better may have been going without adequate sleep for a very long time, and their body’s need more time to recover.

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