Wednesday, December 9, 2009

sleep apnea and sleep studies

At the time of your first doctor visit concerning your sleep apnea, the doctor will suggest a sleep study. The name applies that there is sleeping involved unfortunately there wasn’t much for me during my test. Just falling asleep is a challenge when you are at a sleep clinic.

In order to tell if you indeed have sleep apnea, the doctor will send you on an over night sleep study (Polysomnography). The test can be done at a hospital, a clinic or even an office building. The last one that I had was at an office building. The test determines many things like how long you have slept, how often you wake up (arousals) and how long it took to fall asleep. My problem with all the sleep studies that I have had is that it takes me forever to fall asleep.

Uncomfortable sleeping arrangement

To say that the sleep study has an uncomfortable sleeping arrangement is an understatement. There are wires attached everywhere on your body, from your head to your feet. With all those wires it is difficult to move in bed especially if you like to sleep on your side. Another problem that I had was the strangeness of having someone watch me sleep. I just couldn’t get that out of my head that there was somebody in another room watching me on a monitor.

Need less to say none of my tests were great successes. I did finally fall asleep long enough to prove that I had sleep apnea. One thing that I didn’t realize is that your doctor can prescribe something for you the night of the test. If I have another sleep study (and I am sure I will) I will definitely ask for a sleeping pill and I will bring my own pillow too.

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