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Worst Night of Sleep I’ve Ever Had

Friday, February 3, 2012, 10:20 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

InsomniaI had my sleep study last night, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

First, let me point out the things that were fine. The bed was comfortable, the temperature in the room was appropriate, the noise level was normal for nighttime, and the various wires attached to various parts of my anatomy were much less bothersome than I thought they’d be. The technician was very accommodating and did everything she could to make my experience pleasant. I was able to watch TV, reading in bed, and pick my own lights-out time. If I needed anything, all I had to do was say it and the technician would hear me via the intercom and respond immediately.

When I arrived, I discovered I was to have a split-night study. For the first 2-3 hours, the technician monitors my sleep to determine if I experiences multiple episodes of sleep apnea. If I do, she awakens me and hooks me up to a CPAP for the rest of the night. If I don’t have sleep apnea, she lets me sleep for the duration of the night.

The problems began when the technician told me she would like to get an hour of readings with me on my back. I told her I can’t sleep on my back. I’m a side sleeper and always have been. She said I didn’t have to be asleep. Unfortunately, I was tired, so I wanted to be asleep. There are few things more frustrating than being tired and unable to go to sleep, whether because of insomnia, noise, or discomfort. By the time I decided I’d had enough, I had become physically tense, which for me impedes falling asleep.

It snowballed from there. The longer I lay awake, the more anxious I became. The more anxious I was, the harder it was for me to fall asleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. I tried reading, singing songs in my head, picturing myself on the beach, imagining relaxing with LOML, even playing a game on my phone briefly. Nothing worked. And the whole time, I was aware of the time ticking away. When I did sleep, it was so light that the slightest disturbance roused me, anything from the fan for the ventilation system switching on to my own soft snoring. When the technician came to get me up at 5:50, just the sound of the doorknob turning did it.

While it seemed that I tossed and turned all night, apparently I did have episodes of broken sleep, including one brief episode or REM sleep. I don’t know if I had any apnea. I was so discouraged that I didn’t ask many questions. After my doctor gets the report, she might suggest another try.

In the meantime, I’m beat.

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Categories: health/safety, life
  1. Donna
    Monday, August 5, 2013, 17:54 EST at 17:54

    I had a very similar experience. The technician was nice and the room was comfortable, I had a hard time falling asleep. I kept getting tangled in the wires, and it itched where they were connected, so I was likely scratching or pulling at those areas when I did sleep. So they kept coming in and reconnecting the wires.
    And then when I was sleeping soundly, they woke me up and told me to move to a back sleeping position, and I’m a side sleeper, too. I didn’t sleep on my back, I just laid there for that hour or so with my eyes closed, wishing I could turn to my side. I didn’t sleep more than four hours and I was exhausted.
    They diagnosed me with mild sleep apnea and wanted me to go back for fitting of a cpap. My doctor has encouraged me to try a CPAP, but there is no way I’m going back to a sleep lab.
    I never even finished paying the bill. This is because I feel it was a waste of time and don’t feel like spending money on a bad nights sleep. It seems they just want to have people get a CPAP whether they need it or not.
    Did you ever get the results? Do you use a CPAP?

  2. Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 11:45 EST at 11:45

    I had a relatively short period of sleep, maybe 2 hours. But during that time, I did go into REM sleep and showed no signs of apnea. I eventually did start sleeping better and haven’t had trouble since. So no CPAP!

  1. Monday, February 13, 2012, 13:16 EST at 13:16

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