Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sleep Study (Results)

Well, that was interesting.  For anybody that hasn't had one of these done before here is how it goes.  You show up and they introduce you to the tech who will be doing your sleep study.  Mine was Keith, a nice young man in his early thirties from small town Iowa. They have you answer a very brief one page questionnaire about whether or not you drank caffeine today or took a nap and then they hook up all of the wires.

You get:
  • Two wires down each leg of your shorts that connect on each shin.
  • One at the corner of each eye. 
  • One on either side of your chin.  
  • One just under your bottom lip. 
  • One behind each ear.
  • One at the top of both sides of your forehead. 
  • One above each ear.
  • Two on the back of your head.
  • One strap around your belly.
  • One strap around your chest.
  • A weird contraption like a nasal canula that sticks in both nostrils and has a tiny straw extending into your mouth.
I tried to take a picture in the bathroom mirror before I laid down for the night, but it was too dark in there so it didn't do all the wires justice.

It took me at least half an hour to fall asleep which is very unusual for me.  I'm usually asleep within 5 minutes of going horizontal and closing my eyes.  Part of it was the weirdness of having a stranger watching your every move. Part of it was the fear that I would disconnect some of the myriad wires.  The biggest part of it was that they asked me to start out on my back and I never fall asleep on my back.

I finally drifted off and about 2 hours later Keith came in to put the C-PAP device on me.  The good news was that they would remove that weird thing that went up my nose and into my mouth.  It took me a while to get used to having the mask on and I fell asleep within 15-20 minutes.

At some point I woke up and my nostrils were on fire.  Keith had apparently changed something about the way the air was flowing and it wasn't agreeing with me. I awoke literally shaking my head and blowing out my nose like a bull at a bullfight.  Keith came in pretty quickly and asked me what was bothering me.  I told him, "The air shooting into my nose right now feels like refrigerated pepper spray." He promised to adjust a couple of settings for humidity and such to see if it improved.

I tossed and turned without really falling asleep until about 4:30 AM.  Finally I adjusted to the device and Keith had dialed in the pressure, heat, and humidity settings on it to where it worked for me while still alleviating the little apneas I was apparently having.  I slept very soundly for the next 90 minutes, but I can't say if it had a significant impact on the quality of my sleep or not.  I was definitely not rested. 

I drove home and called my boss and told him I would not be in because I needed more sleep.  I slept until almost noon and here we are.  I assume I'll hear from the doctor in the next 24-48 hours and we'll see how quickly I can get the C-PAP device to try from home.


  1. My sister sleeps with one of those mask thingys and says she gets a much better night's sleep. Trying it at home would be key.

    1. So far I've had a couple of people tell me that they can't use the device for whatever reason, but the vast majority seem to really love theirs. I'm definitely giving it a chance to work.

      It got so bad last night that at about 3:30 AM I almost told the tech, "That's it. I quit. I'm done. I want to go home."

  2. Gives me the willies just reading about this again. I hope you find out that it works for you.

  3. Good luck with your pap-smear sir - I'm sure it's less pleasant for guys than it is for the non guys

    1. Ha...your pap-smear reply made me think of a short film by Tenacious D called "Butt Baby". Disgusting but completely hilarious.