Sleep Study

Sleep Study

Well, I finally did it. After years decades of not sleeping well, and snoring away the time I do spend sleeping, I did a sleep study. I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years, but you either need insurance or money to do one, and in the past, I’ve had neither…

Yeah, I’ve got sleep apnea. If you don’t know what that is, it basically means you stop breathing while you are sleeping. You don’t have to be a medical doctor to know that’s probably a bad thing. In fact, it’s believed that sleep apnea may have contributed to Reggie White’s death.

I’ve got friends with sleep apnea who got tested, and ended up with CPAP machines. One told me it changed his life, and urged me to get tested. (Hey Les, I finally did it!)

The test itself was a lot of fun for a nerd like me. They connected 27 sensors to my body to capture data. This included 15 on the head, one on each ankle, some on the chest, back, and stomach to monitor breathing, and a pulse sensor on the finger. (Interestingly enough, I’ll be getting my own pulse sensor very soon.)

They wire you up and let you sleep a few hours to monitor things, and then (if needed) put a CPAP mask on you, and it helps you breathe. It was a little weird, but I’m sure I’ll get used to the mask, especially if it means better sleep and better health. (The machines are also much quieter than they used to be.)

I was also told that surgery can be an option rather than a CPAP machine, but they do not recommend it, and it doesn’t always work. I’m cool with the technology instead.

I did do a little probing about the data that got collected from the study. I asked it if was just numerical data from the sensors, perhaps in a CSV file. The technician said that was “basically” correct. (It was hard to gauge how technical the technician was.) I asked about getting a copy of my data. They told me I’d need to ask the doctor, as it was for him. I personally think it should be available to me. I’m the patient, right? Isn’t the data about me? Shouldn’t they be required to share it with me?

Anyway, I was told that I slept good with the mask on. I didn’t feel like I did, but I think “medically” I probably slept good. I should find out in a few weeks when I get my own machine for home use. (The mask probably wasn’t optimal either, as they spend some of the time adjusting the pressure and monitoring the sensor data. Hopefully they’ve got it all dialed in at the end.)

Oh, I was also told that the home machine logs data and the doctor takes a look at that data as well. Anyone know how to get that data from the machine? :)