Sleep study tonight

Kathsgrdn

I went home early from work last night so I could try and sleep earlier than I normally do, get up bright and early this morning so I could do this sleep study tonight. I also worked out in the hot sun today in the front flowerbed hoping it would make me tired. It worked but now I really want to lay down and take a nap lol. I have to shower and gather my things together. I don't think I'll have any trouble sleeping.

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Elmer J Fudd

Good for you for doing this and good luck. I'd try to avoid taking a nap, save your sleepiness for tonight. If you're partial to sleeping with your own regular pillow, remember to take it along.

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maire_cate

I had a sleep study last month at the Sleep Center at the local hospital. The instructions they gave stated that I should follow my usual routine. I didn't have any trouble falling asleep - even though I had wires sticking to my head, chin, both legs, 2 bands around my waist and abdomen and a pulse oximeter taped onto my finger. Good luck with yours!


Edited to add: I get fitted for my CPAP next week.

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Chi

Good luck! I had one last year and I did very poorly. The bed was uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep. I woke up dozens of times and they couldn't get a good read! I'm going to try a home study next, hopefully. It's not as good but better than fitful sleeping.

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Kathsgrdn

My usual routine is work till 1 am, get home and go to bed between 4 am and 7 am...on weekdays. Weekends and holidays are totally different, work early morning and get off at 9 pm. I still don't get to sleep usually until midnight on those nights. I don't think I'll have any trouble. I'm exhausted.

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Michael

Good for you for taking what may be a first step to better your health. Best wishes!

Sleep tight.....tonight. And as Elmer mentions, take your pillow. If it's not right for you, they'll even recommend one that fits your sleep position.

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Anglophilia

I did one at home this past winter - knew I'd never be able to sleep in a strange place that did not meet my "sleep requirements". With all the various things attached to me, I had trouble sleeping, even at home. Test was normal.

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Elmer J Fudd

I'm not sure how useful the take home tests are. For the regular sleep studies, they don't need more than an hour or two of sleep during the course of the night to make an assessment. If you still have symptoms of insufficient or inefficient sleep, you might consider doing an in-clinic test just the same.

Twenty years ago when I had my first test, they offered a mild sleep aid for people having trouble falling asleep. Someone I know had a test 6 months ago at the same clinic and apparently they don't do that anymore. Maybe that varies from place to place, but I would think it would be rare for anyone to be so disturbed by the surroundings to remain awake all night.

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maifleur01

Where I had my last test the tech asked if my doctor had ordered anything to be given to me or had I taken anything at his suggestion. The tech had just pulled open a drawer full of various meds to get whatever the other patient had taken. Do not take a sleep aid as it will change your sleep pattern. Elmer is right about only needing a few hours as mine ended up being 2 1/2 of sleep.

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Chi

For me, the surroundings weren't disturbing but I have a very hard time sleeping in any bed that isn't my own, or one of similar comfort. Even in hotels, I'm rarely comfortable on their mattresses. Being hooked to wires and knowing someone is watching me sleep doesn't help! And the man next door snored like a fog horn and I could hear every noise.

I woke up so much that the study said I didn't get much REM sleep, so I want a second study because they said my apnea was too mild to treat and I wonder if the results would be different with at least a few hours of real sleep.

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Elmer J Fudd

Try to arrange in advance for a sleep aid or if you have any of your own, bring them.

I can't imagine being unable to sleep other than at home, Does that mean you never travel?

I think dealing with this notion requires some willpower and not just for the purposes of a sleep test. Failing that, if you get yourself tired enough, you'll sleep.

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maifleur01

It does not matter if you have no REM sleep as long as they have enough information gathered. I have had 4 studies over the years and have been fitted twice. This last one was the only one I had REM sleep at all. I am aware that certain types of sleep studies are invalid if there certain types of brain waves are not there but those are not the type just to discover if you need a CPAP machine.

Each doctor does things differently but what happened when I was approved I had to go back for a second test to try different masks and to see if they improved my sleeping and oxygen levels. One thing that the techs noticed and reported was that the way I rested my head on the pillow caused my oxygen levels to drop.

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lovemrmewey

My husband could not sleep long enough for the study. At the time, the minimum was 4 hours.

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Chi

I wasn't allowed to use a sleep aid - the instructions specifically said not to.

I do travel, I just don't sleep as well most of the time and I will pick hotel chains that I know have mattresses that I like when I can. I need a very, very soft mattress or I can't sleep. Firm or even medium mattresses are painful for my body. It's very annoying and I've been that way since I was a child. I could never sleep on the floor in sleeping bags like other kids because it just hurt too much. I also have a portable Temperpedic pad thing that I bring when traveling and that helps.

The especially annoying thing is now my back has started hurting, likely due at least partly to the soft mattresses so I have no idea what I'm going to do now.

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Kathsgrdn

They told me they needed 6 hours of sleep time for my study. I don't think I got that much but was told I did. I started to doze off and then had to use the bathroom at about 10:00. After calling for the women to unhook me for 25 minutes she finally came. By then I was wide awake and trying to unhook myself. I thought it took me a lot longer to fall asleep after that, than made sense, because I was woken up at around 4:30 and told me I slept for 7 hours. Although she wasn't supposed to tell me anything she did say that I partially stopped breathing and had a lot of leg movement. Two more people have to score it before I get the official results. I hope they call with the results soon. I'm still waiting for results of an arterial ultrasound they did 2 weeks ago. Because I went to a cardiologist/vascular doctor to find out if I had vascular issues with my left leg (mainly), they did a random EKG and found I had a heart block. Which they think was caused by sleep apnea...so sleep study and I have a echo stress test in two weeks. Will be glad when all the testing is done. Part of me wishes I hadn't made the initial appointment because it opened up a can of worms.

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OutsidePlaying

Well, Kathsgrdn, you need to take care of your health, so it's a good thing you did open that can! I'm glad your sleep study did get enough results. I was very skeptical that mine showed enough, but apparently it did and I've been using a Somnodent (mouthpiece device) successfully ever since. My apnea was mild but I did snore which bothered me, not so much my DH as he never complained much, but the snore app my dentist told me about sure did show it.

I didn't have a great experience with the facility I used. I was the first arrival along with one other person. Got ready for bed, did everything they told me to do and waited. Apparently they were short staffed and one person was trying to take care of hooking up everyone. I told her I was ready to sleep around 10 pm. She told me I had to put away all electronics and the TV was turned off. Fine. It was another hour and a half before she came back, despite my asking several times. Apparently someone else talked her into hooking them up first and she did. By then I had already dozed off and slept and then couldn't go back to sleep. Then she woke me up around 3:30 and said I needed to sleep on my back. Really!? You should have told me that initially. Now I can't go back to sleep again. An hour or so later they woke me up. I gave them a scathing review about the whole thing, not that it would do any good, and I did tell the doctor about it who was responsible for my sleep study.

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Elmer J Fudd

You haven't opened a can of worms, you've opened an important door that will hopefully lead you to better health and feeling better. That's so important. So many people blow off sleep problems, rationalizing "that's how I am", when really that's rarely the case. Most sleep problems, including insomnia but of course also leg movements and breathing issues, can be effectively treated. Besides the obvious problems of feeling poorly from poor sleep, heart problems can be very common when erratic breathing leads to decreased blood oxygen levels.

I have both of the issues you describe were observed for you and both have been completely controlled and eliminated for me, going on twenty years now. I'm hopeful the same will be true for you and you'll be feeling better.

You're taking the right steps. Good luck!

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tackykat

I went through this almost exactly 5 years ago. It was hard to fall asleep at the first one (to test for sleep apnea - I have mild obstructive SA) because of all the wires and because I don't usually sleep on my back. The second one was easier (to measure what level my CPAP needed to be at).

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sprtphntc7a

off topic - Elmer where is your Avatar????

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Elmer J Fudd

I thought it was time for a change and that a simple white circle was a good choice.

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maifleur01

Can only echo the good for you Kath.

While sleep apnea can cause lots of things I am not certain that it would cause a heart block. I hope by now you have had that taken care of so you can enjoy better health.

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Kathsgrdn

Maifleur01, that is what the cardiologist told me. I'm a nurse and didn't know that. If I had, I might have paid out of pocket for that cpap when I was diagnosed year ago with borderline sleep apnea. They told me insurance wouldn't pay for it. I lost a lot of weight after that test and hoped that it wouldn't get worse. Apparently, I've got mild apnea, based on what they told me this morning.

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sprtphntc7a

elmer: aww i like that one, how about one of these:


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maifleur01

Kath from my reading and from conversations with a doctor long ago everyone has apnea. For those that do not know sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for a while and can be from many causes. It is only when it is worse that it can cause health problems. I knew you were a nurse and think the doctor may have been giving you a convenient excuse. Something doctors do sometimes rather than stating they do not know. You could ask other doctors that you know, just in passing conversation, how frequently it happens. While back then you could purchase an OTC machine and have it set most of the ads I have seen recently state they need to have a prescription to set them. The machine I currently use is on the next to the lowest setting that the company makes.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I just recently heard about Inspire Technology. A different approach to the treatment of apnea. I know nothing about the process other than what is on the website.

https://www.inspiresleep.com/what-is-inspire-therapy/how-inspire-therapy-works/

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maifleur01

Like dementia there are several different types of sleep apnea. While this sounds interesting doctors would first have to diagnose the type that you have which currently is seldom done. The current treatment for most is a CPAP or BiPAP machine that sends air down into your lungs but does not really treat the problem for many. It will keep you alive but does not help any underlying causes like not breathing for a period of time, weak diaphragm, uvula blocking the throat, swelling of the throat, even the angle of the head on your pillow can be a factor especially if it places your neck at an extreme angle.

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sleeperblues

I'm not sure why you can't take a sleep aid. I have personally diagnosed many people with sleep apnea after sedating them for a procedure. I will strongly suggest that they follow up with a sleep study perscribed by their regular physician. I sedate every patient I come in contact with, and generally know which patient is going to have a problem with OSA. There are several screening tools that can be used prior to anesthesia to ascertain the probability of OSA, one of which is STOP BANG. I have to say I am shocked at how this subject isn't brought up in their visits with their regular docs. And the general public has no idea of the gravity of untreated OSA. Yes, it can cause heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, restless legs. Losing weight is one way to treat the condition if you are overweight, but I have seen thin patients with severe OSA also.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

It's also been linked to a higher risk of cancer. Several studies have been conducted. Increased in women more than men.

https://www.europeanlung.org/en/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/women-with-sleep-apnoea-are-more-likely-to-be-diagnosed-with-cancer-than-men

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Elmer J Fudd

STOP BANG! I love the many mnemonics used in medicine as aides-memoire. So many, probably intentionally, are amusing and thus easy to remember.

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maifleur01

Back to what Kath mentioned with the blockage I am correcting myself. I finally looked last night and apparently embolisms can be formed with sleep apnea and enter the pulmonary vein. I knew that using too much force with a CPAP machine could cause this but not sleep apnea itself.

Ditch the cancer fears as if you think about it women who do not have sleep apnea also have cancer. The age that most women finally go to the doctor for relief is normally higher which would provide a greater chance of developing cancer. If you live long enough when your cells are no longer functioning normally they can either die or replicate themselves differently which is cancer.

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Elmer J Fudd

maifleur, there's a well known (and trite) expression that students of science are taught early on. It's "correlation doesn't imply causation". That means the fact that an apparently statistically valid pattern is identified doesn't explain what the reason is nor should it be assumed to be the underlying root of what's observed.

The interesting link says that they've found a statistical correlation, not a mechanism. Don't go too far with what was done or said. As an intentionally exaggerated phony example, assume hypothetically that it could be that women with blue eyes have a greater tendency for apnea and the blue eyes are the result of a gene mutation that also raises cancer risk. This extreme hypothetical could explain a situation where a cancer pattern could be found by study of apnea sufferers but the reason for the pattern would not be identified.

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maifleur01

Gee, Elmer, I thought that was what I wrote. You just rephrased it.

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Elmer J Fudd

Sorry, you know, I wasn't sure what you were trying to say. With any research findings like these, to say anything more than "they found an odd statistical correlation and don't know why or if it's valid" is guessing. They can describe the existence of an apparent correlation but nothing more.

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Kathsgrdn

Maifleur01, I don't have a blockage, but a heart block...1st degree av block. There's a block in the conduction of the heart...not a blood clot. Big difference. I have a slower than normal heart rate but barely, right at about 60 per minute...60-100 is normal. Cardiologist wants a stress echo to make sure I don't have heart disease. That's in 2 weeks.

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maifleur01

Kath sorry my mind went the opposite way. Good Luck with your test. Hopefully you will not light up the screen when you take the stress echo. Now that is a frightening experience.

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Kathsgrdn

Thanks Maifleur01.

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jane__ny

Reading this, no mention of insomnia. What the heck do they do about that?

I have insomnia and have had it for almost 20 years. Years ago, I was given Ambien so I could sleep. I took it for at least 15 years. I stopped it 5 years ago and am back to what I was before I took it.

I am fearful of going to bed. I know what will happen. Sometimes I'm lucky and do fall asleep. Most times I lay there until daybreak. It seems my brain goes into overcharge when I go to bed. It's so horrible. I can't function during the day yet I have to.

I'm sitting here at 1am hoping to feel tired.

I could never go through the tests mentioned because I'd never fall asleep.

I cannot sleep on my back. I broke my shoulder 25 yrs ago and it aches if I lay on my back or sleep on my right side. I can only lay down on my left side.

I now take otc sleep aids and sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

I wish there was more information on chronic insomnia and help for it, other than sleeping pills.


Jane

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Chi

That sounds awful, Jane. I am lucky to only have insomnia very rarely but it's not fun when it happens. I can't imagine every night, and I'm sure the stress of worrying about it doesn't help.

Have you seen a sleep specialist? Have you tried magnesium? I have more trouble sleeping when I'm low so I supplement every night.

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maifleur01

While it may be something physical if you are afraid to go to sleep that is a major factor. You did not mention anything that you did while on Ambien, some people did dangerous things, but if that is your fear you may need to seek counseling.

Like many I too have problems going to sleep so these are just suggestions which may work since you have probably already tried the regular stuff. Find a plush toy that will stay on your pillow or next to you while you are in bed. I do not need a plush toy as I have a pillow cat but when he does not come to bed I find it harder to go and stay asleep. While it no longer works for me my doctor suggested when I can not sleep get up. Sit in a low light situation. When sleepy go back to bed.

Something I have found is that over time those OTC sleep aides which are all the same ingredient as Benadryl stop working if you use them more than a couple of times a month. Now that it is thought that there is a link between them and certain kinds of dementia my doctor has advised me not to use them. I still do but I think it is more the "if I take a pill I will fall asleep" thing than they allow me to go to sleep.

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Elmer J Fudd

Jane, sleep doctors treat all forms of sleep problems. Do see a sleep specialist, so many patients (and I'm one of them) enjoy health and life changing benefits of improved sleep. It's my opinion that a sleep clinic at a medical school is your best choice (they cost no more, no need for a referral for most) if one is located near where you are.


"It seems my brain goes into overcharge when I go to bed."

I had this problem years ago before finding a solution. During my career years, the quiet of the dark sleeping room seemed to stimulate thinking about what I needed to do the next day, what I wanted to do, what reflections I had about issues and problems, etc., What has worked for me now for decades is to have a distraction. To begin with, it was CSPAN on the TV with an off timer - it was engrossing enough to listen to and have a focus but not so interesting as to keep me up. My wife was understanding about this and used ear plugs.

For the last 10 years or more, I've listened to podcasts (also using a sleep timer) with an ear bud. Same thing, engrossing enough to capture my attention but not enough to keep me up. I fall asleep so quickly that I find myself rewinding to restart programs that were interesting but that I didn't finish because of drifting off to sleep. After so many years of teasing me about it, my wife now does the same thing and likes it a lot. Give it a try. Good luck.

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yeonassky

The way I was helped was to not sleep in the bed. I would sit on a chair that reclined very well or lie on the couch sometimes and I would get the sleep I could. Sorry that you are having such difficulty. I can sleep 6 hours straight in bed now and it took quite a long time until that happened.

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Lindsey_CA

Kathsgrdn said, "Cardiologist wants a stress echo to make sure I don't have heart disease."

Maifluer01 responded, "Hopefully you will not light up the screen when you take the stress echo. Now that is a frightening experience."

There's nothing frightening about having a stress echocardiogram. The one I had involved walking on a treadmill. After being hooked up with all the wires, I was supine on the exam table while an echocardiogram was done. Then, I had to walk on the treadmill until my heart rate reached a certain point (but I don't remember what that rate was). Once that HR is reached, you have to - within 30 seconds - step off the treadmill, turn -- not getting tangled up in the wires -- and get back on the exam table in a supine position while another echo is done while your heart is still "pounding." With that echocardiogram, as well as with the two (non-stress) echocardiograms I had (the most recent was just a couple of months ago), I wasn't really in a good position to see the screen to see what was going on. With the most recent echo I could see most of the screen, but unless you are an experienced technician in the field, you really don't know what you're seeing.

The absolute worst part was wiping all of the goo off my chest when the test was over.

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Elmer J Fudd

My experience with a stress test was similar, it was easy. An EKG at my annual physical a few years ago showed a signal that was ambiguous, maybe the sign of a problem but maybe not. The stress echocardiogram was used to answer the uncertainty, fortunately for me the EKG signal was a false positive and I'm fine.

If you don't exercise regularly, getting to a huffing and puffing stage on the treadmill might be slightly uncomfortable but the good news is that if you're not in good cardio shape, getting your heart rate elevated won't take very long.

Good luck and no worries. If there is something to know about, you want to know, so it's worth doing either way.



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maifleur01

There is nothing frightening with a stress test. I have had several. The last one the screen looked like a lightening bolt hit it with green, yellow, and some red all at the same time. I had some minor chest pain but I was made to sit there for almost 4 hours in case I was having a heart attack. Two days later I had a cath to see if I had a clot. I did not but it was discovered that I have two pulmonary veins rather than one. I also had no cholesterol build up from where they entered to my heart. The cardiologist was more worried about the lack of cholesterol. The explanation I was given was that my veins were smoother than they should be and I apparently have a problem with transitory electrical impulses to my heart. Nothing I can do anything about.

I was wishing Kath a smooth test.

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Kathsgrdn

I've had a stress test before. Not too worried.

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Annie Deighnaugh

DH will tell you that living with me *is* a stress test!

:)

I've had them done and nothing frightening or uncomfortable...in fact I find these kinds of things rather fascination and am so curious and thankful about how much modern medicine can do.

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