Sunday, July 20, 2008

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

So I've just gotten home from the Sleep Specialist Clinic. Lately I've noticed that I've been fatigued all the time and I need to find out the reason for this. My doctor is checking my thyroid and he also suggested I have an "Obstructive Sleep Apnea" test. Apparently I have several of the symptoms (snoring, morning headaches, the fatigue, swelling of the legs, my wife says there are periodic episodes of not breathing, etc.).

So that's what I did last night.

Now, for those of you who've never had this test, here's what they do: the clinic wires you into a computer in almost every way imaginable. There are electrodes placed on the top of your head to monitor EEG brain wave activity. An electrode is also placed near your eye to monitor REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which helps to determine how deeply you're sleeping. Two more electrodes attach to your chin to monitor a variety of things, one of which includes teeth grinding. Your chest is wired to monitor your heart. Two flexible bands are placed across your chest and abdomen to monitor your respiration, and several more electrodes go on both legs to monitor neural pulses and muscle movements in your lower extremities. An oxygen sensor is taped to your finger and another is placed just inside your nose. There's also a webcam that helps them keep an eye on you.

But here's the kicker: after they wire you up nine ways from Sunday, they say: "now go to sleep." And, oh, yes, "If any of these electrodes come off during the night or stop sending a signal, I'll be in to fix them."

It was, quite possibly, the worst night of sleep I've ever had.

30 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea. Here's hoping I'm not one of them.


Anonymous said...

For more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and treatment options visit

Anonymous said...

You look super weird dad, like some kind of alien or something. All hooked up and ready to be probulated while sleeping. So what did the Apnean tests say about your sleeping patterns?