Sleep apnoea sufferers are often treated using continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP), which may not be as effective as they'd hoped.

One of the main problems with this treatment is that it requires a mask to be administered, leading many wearers to feel uncomfortable throughout the night.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, James LeFanu explained that there have been various reports from patients of CPAP being a particularly uncomfortable means of treating sleep apnoea.

One of them is Danish medical researcher Peter Gotzsche, who noted in the British Medical Journal that his snoring was considerably loud and fierce before he sought medical assistance.

Mr Gotzsche was given a CPAP machine and said: "When it started, it blew me up like a balloon. It was very unpleasant, and after a while my throat dried out."

As a result, he decided that the uncomfortable mask did not outweigh its potential benefit, or indeed the risk of dying.

Posted by Michael Ewing