(I’ve stopped in at work on my way home from the sleep center, and I don’t have an easy way to get pictures off my phone here, so the pictures of me with electrodes all over my head will have to wait, alas.)
So it was a split sleep study, which means the first part of the night they get baseline data (actually somewhat worse than baseline, because they ask you to sleep on your back if possible, which makes apnea
worse, but at home I sleep on my side), and then they put the CPAP machine
on you and you sleep with it for the rest of the night.
My sleep was interrupted, of course. For the first part (without the CPAP machine) I remember waking up once from snoring, and once from feeling unable to breathe, which probably means I was exhibiting worse symptoms than I do at home — usually I remember waking up due to snoring or breathing problems maybe once a week (although I’m sure I do it more often than that). I did sleep quite a bit, though.
For the second part, with the CPAP machine, it took me quite a while to fall asleep, but when I did I slept quite well. I did wake up a few times for adjustments to the mask, and a couple times to get unhooked so I could use the bathroom. I noticed an odd sensation in my ears at the beginning — kind of an itchy-ticklish sensation deep in the ears — but it went away after a while. I had mild but sharp-feeling pain under one eye, which might have been something about how the mask was adjusted or might have been something about pressure differentials, but that also went away after a while. After the last time the mask was adjusted, it was too tight (because the technologist adjusted it for one position and I promptly rolled over into a different one, I think) so when I woke up my face hurt. And the mattress was much firmer than I am used to.
Despite all that, and despite waking up at 5:30 when I’ve been barely managing to get out of bed by 8:30 lately, I woke up feeling rested and refreshed and full of energy. I feel better than I do when I sleep till noon on a lazy weekend after getting to bed early the night before. I feel at least as good as and perhaps better than I do when I go on vacation and get ten hours’ sleep a night for four or five days in a row.
I don’t know, maybe some of this is placebo effect. But I’m pretty sure not all of it is. I feel great!
The sad thing is that I may well have to wait a few months before I can feel this way again, although I will certainly be harrassing the sleep center to see if they can get me in for a followup sooner than December 8 — maybe there’ll be a cancellation. Or maybe I’ll just hold up a 24-hour CPAP-machine store somewhere. :-)