> I have only used my CPAP machine for the first time last night, but it was a disaster.
Despite the fact that the technicians and doctors pretend otherwise a quick read of this forum will tell you that almost everyone's first night is a disaster
> I kept at it all night, but I got virutally no sleep.
That's what most of us experienced at first. I am 4 weeks in now, and still getting the odd wakeup, but usually only one a night now, and getting about 6 hours plus on the machine each night. Hang in there, it does get better.
Ken, I'm wondering what possessed you to tape your mouth on the first night. This is an extreme strategy which works for some, but is hardly the thing you'd try from the outset, I would have thought.
I must admit, I'm not sure how air is getting into your mouth with it taped up. But let me share my experience, as it is recent and I had similar problems at first.
Because I sometimes mouth breathe, the technician gave me a mouth and nose mask from the outset. Bad move. they should have ascertianed to what extent mouth-breathing was an issue first, because a ful face mask is ging to be more uncomfortable and therefore discourage compliance. Anyway, I found when I nodded off everything relaxed, and as my mouth, even in the mask, sagged open, the seal kept on coming undone and leaking, waking me and my partner. Back to see technician twice. They tightened the mask, tested it at full pressure and proclaimed it fine. But that didn't take into account my mouth falling open. Cretins. When I read up here about this I taped up my mouth and was immediately improved. Was still woken by rainout, but before this the rainout weakened the seal and the mouth finished off the job.
So I now went back to the tech and said, since the mouth taping worked I think I can go with a nasal only mask and taping or chin-strap. I bough a vhin strap and tried it and it works fine for me. Keeps my jaw shut fine and is more comfy than the tape. The technicians had basically dine nothing to help me to this point.
Anyway, this setup is now working for me. I still get rainout because of temperature differentials in my bedroom with heating in winter. I am intending to try nasal pillows next to see whether that's better.
I assume you are ona month trial somwhere. My advice is try the chin strap or just panty hose to keep your jaw shut and lay off the taping for a few days. Also try increasing the ramp time on your machine by 10 minutes or more. It maybe the big rush of air is due to the machine going from its low pressure to the higher pressure before you are completely asleep. This might be called 'settling time' on your machine--basically it starts at a lower pressure to let you go to sleep, before increasing to operating pressure. If you're sound asleep by then, you won't notice that happenning.
Can you tell us what sort of machine and mask you have, by the way?
All the best. It will get better. After 4 weeks I still need it to get better some more, as I am still more tired than before, but I believe I will get there. My problem now is I have to return the machine because my trial is over, and find the money to buy one