This lovely picture is how I looked as I got ready to go to bed last night at the sleep disorders clinic for my polysomnogram (an overnight sleep study). There are 28 sensors attached to me, including two on each leg, one on my left index finger, several on my chest and back, and a whole bunch all over my head.
Among the measures they were checking were brain waves, breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and leg movement. The reason for the visit is many years of disruptive snoring, lack of "rested feeling" in the morning, and likely Sleep Apnea.
I arrived at the clinic at 8 PM and immediately changed into my sleep clothes. From about 8:30 - 9:30 the technician hooked me up. She was very good and professional, and it's not really as uncomfortable as it looks. A little stifling, but not at all painful. The little control box you see hanging around my neck gets hung by the bed post when I finally get into the bed.
It's a private room, with a TV, so once I was hooked up and plugged into the bed I watched Heroes and Studio 60 till lights out just after 11 PM. Falling asleep was a bit difficult, as that's when I had the only real discomfort with the sensors behind my ears pinching just a bit.
I did not sleep well. Even worse than normal. But, that's really not too surprising. It's also not really a problem, as they wouldn't really get the data they need if I had had a "good" night.
The technician woke me up at 6:30 and it took about 1/2 hour to get everything un-hooked before I could get showered and dressed.
I will go in on Thursday to discuss the detailed results and diagnosis with the Doctor, but the technician's "unofficial" observations were that I did stop breathing several times during the night (Apnea) which caused my blood oxygen to dip. There was also some leg movement that might indicate RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome).
I'll post again when the next course of action is determined. Most likely it will be another sleepover to test out using a C-PAP machine, which is basically a mask and pump that forces air into my lungs and forcing me to breath through the night.
(NOTE: I sometimes question posting these personal, medical issues on the blog. I do it because over time, these are the posts that end up being most popular. While the political stuff looses its relevance very quickly, people are always looking for information on health problems and looking for other people who've been through it. These posts aren't for everybody, but they are important.)