Friday, January 30, 2009

Sleep or Fava Beans? Maybe Both

I have my second sleep study tonight. Last week I put on my jammies, gathered up my blanket and pillow, drove across town and they wired me up like a giant lab rat with:
  • electrodes to measure my brain waves and stages of sleep (there are 3 plus REM)
  • movement sensors on my legs, arms, and parts of my face
  • a heart rate monitor
  • belts on my chest and tummy to measure movement when I inhale and exhale
  • a microphone
  • a nasal cannula
  • a second measuring something or other under my nose
  • an oxygen saturation probe on my finger
And then they told me to sleep. Oh, and don't forget the camera on the wall with the circle of little red lights that you can see even without your glasses. All night.

They monitor and watch, collect a ton of data, wake you up at 6a, rip off all the wires, tell you basically nothing, and send you on your way.

I did sleep off and on. I woke up whenever there was noise in the hallway -- usually to hear someone tell the guy in the room across the hall to roll over or to change out his mask. You think they'd do a better job of soundproofing a sleep clinic! The guy should probably have his own county. Maybe he does. I can't imagine neighbors, dogs, cats, goldfish, or wild animals putting up with the ruckus. Amazing!

And I can tell you exactly where the monitoring room was in proximity to my room because well, the sleep techs don't sleep at night, they talk.

This week, they'll put on a lot of the same sensors and then go through having me sleep -- or try mightily -- with a series of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks to see if they prevent the apnea spells and contribute to better sleep -- actual consistent breathing, oxygenation, deeper stages of sleep, REM, etc.

I can't imagine being able to sleep with a freakin' Hannibal Lechter-esque mask on my face, but we'll see what happens. (I almost included a photo of a mask in this post, but very quickly closed the google image search results because the pix were freaking me out...)

If nothing else, I predict a craving for fava beans will strike sometime tomorrow.

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