Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sleep Clinic - Follow-up

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my first visit to the sleep clinic. Following that night in the clinic I was officially diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This last Monday night I made my second visit, this time to test out sleeping with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device.

The CPAP is a machine that basically forces you to keep breathing by putting a continuous flow of air into your nose by way of a small mask (see picture at top right). Fun, huh? Here's the comparison of the data:

Full Stops: This is now many times I completely stop breathing during the night (apnea). Sleeping "normally" I had 228 full stops. With the CPAP only one.

Partial Stops: Sleeping normally, 65. With the CPAP, one.

Oxygen Saturation: The lowest reading on my blood oxygen level during the night. Normal, 74.5%. With CPAP, 94.6%.

"Respiratory Disturbance Index": The average number of apnea and hypopnea incidents per hour. Sleeping normally, 42.4. With the CPAP, 0.3.

So, obviously, a dramatic difference. By wearing the silly mask and air pump I sleep like a normal person and have a chance at actually experiencing a day without walking around like a freaking zombie from exhaustion.

I was given my CPAP machine today and will start sleeping with it at home tonight. (For those who know and care about these things, my setting is 10).

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