My Sleep, It’s Totally Busted, Man…

Today was the day I had my appointment with a specialist at the sleep clinic to analyze my data from the last time I was at the sleep clinic. Remember that time? When people glued stuff to my head?

Stop your laughing, Tena. I hear you.

Anyway… the results are FASCINATING. No, I mean it… really cool! So cool, in fact, that I paid $5 to get a copy of the report to bring home and share with BDH and his mom and all you good people.

I am amazed that they got as much data as they did. And so, from the data, here is what I can tell you.

I have moderate sleep apnea. (You all know what sleep apnea is, right? It’s when you stop breathing when you sleep.) Apnea is dangerous in varying degrees. If you have severe sleep apnea, then of course the whole stopping-breathing-thing is very serious because, hey, you’re doing it way too much. But also, it can lead to increased incidence of heart attack and stroke. So that’s not cool. But me, with my moderate sleep apnea — I just have to be aware that it can get worse as I get older and can put me at risk of these things. Which is why it is good I am dealing with this now.

And now, because inquiring minds want to know, here are some interesting numbers and factoids about me and my sleep:

  • While I was at the clinic, I had 403 minutes available for sleep. (So, roughly 7 hours.)
  • Of those 403 minutes, I slept for 229 minutes. So, half the time I was in bed — or, in percentages, I have a 57% sleep efficiency. That is, in technical terms, The Suck. Which means I have to “sleep” twice as long to get enough quality sleep.
  • I fell asleep within 8 minutes of lights out. (That’s good.)
  • But then, I woke up again right away. (That’s bad.)
  • It took me 176 minutes to get into REM sleep. The average person takes around 100 minutes, so I take twice as long. And that is because my body fights going into REM sleep because it doesn’t want to stop breathing. And that is also The Suck.

I also got an analysis of my sleep stages and how long I stay in each, but I don’t know what that all that stuff means anyway.
Now for the really surprising numbers:

  • I stopped breathing 123 times during the night.
  • I stop breathing an average of 32 TIMES AN HOUR.
  • I stop breathing for an average duration of 32 SECONDS.
  • The longest duration I stopped breathing was — wait for it — 71 SECONDS.

So… yeah. That’s not good. My sleep is totally busted. I’m barely sleeping at night, even when I am in bed for 7 or 8 hours. No wonder I have been tired my entire life.

So, I go back on Monday night, when they will once again glue and tape stuff to my head (OH JOY). But this time, they’re trying me out on this MAGICAL MACHINE.

The machine is just a pump, basically, that forces pressurized air into your mouth through a mask. The air forces your throat to stay open so that you have unobstructed breathing. The pressure is just enough that it ensures you don’t stop breathing anymore.

Apparently, if it works, you feel rested and better THE. NEXT. DAY. If it works for you, the effects are immediate.

Can you imagine? I have never, NOT ONCE IN MY LIFE, ever felt rested when I woke up. I cannot imagine what that will feel like!

I sure hope the machine thingy works.

A full night’s restful sleep — oh, I can endure another night or two of the long wires if that is my reward.

3 thoughts on “My Sleep, It’s Totally Busted, Man…

  1. So, again I say, I type this stuff for a living. Interesting is it not? I love my job. I learn something new everyday.

    I am glad you have finally found out that there is a reason for you being tired all the time. The CPAP (or BiPAP) will do wonders for you. You will feel so energized all day long. I am interested in hearing the results on the CPAP (magic machine). I am curious as to whether you had a lot of leg movements during your sleep. That usually goes along with the territory. I am sure you are looking forward to a great night’s sleep. You probably don’t even know what that feels like.

    Sleep well!

  2. Oh, you know what? Not a leg movement to be found, except for the odd stretching.

    That, and the fact that I don’t grind my teeth, is all that’s normal about my sleep.

  3. Dianne’s brother in law has that machine and has been using it for about 6 months. He said that he is feeling so much better now that he is using it. Who knew?

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