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Readers Respond: Tell What Your Sleep Study Was Like

Responses: 20

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Updated August 28, 2009

So your doctor recommends you undergo a sleep study, but what should you expect? Many people often have some anxiety about the experience. If you have already had a sleep study, share what the experience was like for you. Do you have any advice for others? If you are waiting for a study, what are some of the fears or concerns that you have about it? Share Your Experiences

Change my life

I’ve concluded that I've had apnea my entire adult life. The day I was tested in the hospital with the CPAP in 2007 was the first real night's sleep I can ever remember. I couldn't believe it when they woke my up that a night had passed and it was 6:30 a.m. I had my uvula removed about 25 years ago, but it didn't help. I didn't have "obstructive" apnea, rather I would quit breathing for several minutes multiple times a night and be awoken by low oxygen and gasp for breath. I would get out of bed in the morning feeling dizzy from low oxygen. I also went to the bathroom up to 5 times a night. With the cpap I do not make much urine and never have to get up to pee. My doc says it's because my heart isn't pumping as hard at night now. I also don’t snore and I don’t have heartburn at night as before. One time I nearly died when I regurgitated and inhaled my vomit upon gasping for breath. Never happens with the CPAP! The invention of the CPAP is, in my estimation, the most wonderf
—mooregerald

never again

I have chronic migraines & fibromyalgia. Dr. wanted sleep study to check for apnea. Fibro causes VERY sensitive skin-can't use bandaids-sticky part makes my skin burn-I knew sticky sensors would be bad. Got wired up-stickies on legs, all over my face-scalp, upper chest & straps around my chest. Finger sensor on & oxygen thing in my nose. By bedtime-I was already in pain. They say I slept but not sure when! Never been so happy to get up at 6:30! Said I didn't meet criteria for CPAP but dr. might want me to go back for another sleep study WITH the CPAP on all night just to see! NOT going to happen! Thing that irritated me most-no attendant could explain to me how this test could possibly be an accurate representation of how I sleep at home-they just changed the subject. Very obvious that they were trained to sell CPAP. All I got out of it was globs of glue in my hair-took forever to get it out- and LOTS of pain-spent next 2 days in bed with migraine & fibro pain! NEVER AGAIN!
—Guest mommacat

Don't necessarily trust sleep lab result

Because I have hypertension my doctor and I agreed to do a sleep study at a sleep lab. It was the worst night of my life sleep wise, I didn't feel that I slept at all, and was so tired at work the next day I felt sick. I was diagnosed as having sleep apnea with an AHI of 24 and low oxygen saturation. I never trusted this sleep study because I sleep like the dead at home and have functioned with 6 hours of sleep most my entire life, something I think would be hard to do for someone with sleep apnea. I also experienced no daytime drowsiness. I decided to go ahead and use the CPAP, figuring it wouldn't hurt me to use it even if I didn't have sleep apnea. Fast forward a few years and now they're doing home sleep studies, so I did one in the hopes I could use an oral appliance as I take motorcycle trips and a cpap machine takes up a lot of space. Imagine my surprise and joy when my doctor told me I didn't have sleep apnea. My AHI was 3.5 and my oxygen saturation level was 95. How could tw
—DHammack1

sleep disorder respiratory analysis

ahi moderately elevated at 16.3 event /hourthe supine ahi adjusted rdi was 48.2 ev.hour oxygen desaturationto 87.0%with0.7% the total sleep the ECG showed regular rhythm the rate ranged from 49-60 BPM
—Guest gianfranca bonacini

questionable

humming HVAC, a GLOWING nightstand light!. This is big no non and it was in the room with me. the room was 60 degrees until I found the thermostat which was set up all wrong. Noise from the cooling fan of the video, blowing air ..awful. I was given an extra "blanket" which was thinner than some dinner napkins Ive used. then in the morning I saw wrapped up and on top of a shelf, a semi real blanket. No coordination on timing re preparation for sleep, or meds issue...... very little attention to detail. Sleep Center in Boston, get you're act together. Make sure you check out the place before you go...
—Guest Massachusett

ALSO MORE TIRED NOW

A DOT doctor made me get the test.When I got there I was told I NEEDED A CPAP before I TOOK THE TEST. I had lots of energy and slept well before I got the cpap.AFTER I GOT THE CPAP MY LUNGS HURT EAR DRUMS FELT LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO POP,I also had dark circles around my eyes.I was very exhausted.I was lucky enough that someone where I got the cpap told me how to modify the cpap so it shows I am using it when I am not and told me I was clearly misdignosed.
—Guest David

AWFUL

From the moment I checked in, I was treated as though I had a major apnea problem, though snoring was not an indicator from family. Instead, I was sent for a test because of a TIA event. If a test is to be diagnostic, then treat the person as though a diagnosis will occur AFTER the procedure, not as though the diagnosis has already been made. All language used was such as 'when your results are in, we will discuss the appropriate equipment' or 'after the test we will know what you need.' Hey, folks. The test was to discover...
—Guest ladyq

love it

I resisted using my BIPAP machine initially. That was partly because of severe post nasal drip. But Once I got over that, it has been very helpful. Feel much better through out the day. I know it could be hard to get used to.
—Guest Ishwar Jasuja

I'm with tallymember

I'm scheduled for my first sleep study tonight and I am totally freaked about the whole thing. In doing research, I found out as others have mentioned, about the monitoring, the possible administering of the CPAP during the night, and about them making you sleep on your back. As tallymember mentioned, how do they expect to get an accurate feel for what really happens when you sleep when they create this artificial environment? I told them on the phone when I made the appointment, that if they really wanted to get an accurate feel for what happens when I sleep, then they need to let me sleep on my side like I normally do, instead of forcing me to sleep on my back. I feel like this is simply a way to sell CPAP machines, more than anything else. It seems to me by forcing you to sleep on your back, they are almost guaranteeing an outcome where a CPAP will be recommended. I realize I'm not an expert, but it seems to me, as Tallymember said, that they are more interested in pushing the CPAP.
—Guest Bookworm

sleep test

it was the most miserable night of my life. lights going on and off all night; thin walls and could hear the man next door; bathroom down a hallway. I would never do that again
—Guest jean

My Sleep Study Was Great!

I just had an overnight sleep study yesterday. I was told I defintely have OSA - my oxygen levels were very low, and I had multiple apneas as well. Apparently, I was mis-diagnosed as narcoleptic when I had a sleep study about 20 years ago. My pulmonologist will be reviewing the results with me soon. I was put on CPAP about 2 hours before they woke me up the morning after the study. Big improvement with CPAP -oxygen levels improved dramatically; slept much better. The CPAP was so quiet that I wasn't even sure it was turned on at first- a very pleasant surprise. I had a full mask on that covered my nose and mouth, and it actually was fairly comfortable. Breathing with the CPAP was a bit strange at first, but I fell asleep with it on fairly quickly. Even though I was on the CPAP for a short time, it made me feel more rested. This was life-changing for me. I can't wait for my new life to begin - no more headaches and EDS! I highly recommend a sleep study for anyone who might have OSA.
—nettech9276

changed my life

I have an AHI of 93..have been snoring for many years prior to the sleep study, my children said that I snored like a "freight train" I had reached a point that my muscles even hurt to move and I had to go to bed almost as soon as I got home each day. I felt awful. The first study was done and I was diagnosed with severe OSA, the return study was done with CPAP and I felt better the next day, even though everyone said I would feel better in a couple of weeks. I havd had my machine for 3 months and it has changed my life..I have more energy and wake up ready for my day of work. I fall asleep about 10 minutes after I put on the nasal pillow and generally sleep all night(a first for me in a long time)..I'm very happy I did all of this.
—Guest carol

just sorry I put it off so long

I was very apprehensive about the sleep study. However, my experience while not pleasant was acceptable. I was told to arrive by 7:30 pm. Then I was given about 30 minutes to get comfortable in my room and change into sleeping attire and sign the consent forms etc. The tech then wired me up and explained the whole process. He showed the cameras that would be used and explained that depending on the results they might stop the test in the middle and put me onto a CPAP. This is called a split study. If you suspect you have sever severe sleep apnea make sure that the study center uses that protocol. It saves the necessity of doing a second expensive test. In my case after an hour I was awoken and given the mask. I was at 110AHI. My only complaint was how long it took to get the follow up consult. However, my specialist for the consult was fantastic. She walked me through the results explained what was going on and explained all of my options. I'm now at 1.3 AHI on CPAP.
—Guest Chris

More Tired Now

I took the sleep study in December, have combination sleep Apena and have used the CPAP faithfully for over 6 months now. Scored a 92 on the AHI during the test, now score 5 AHI using the CPAP. That sounds great, but I actually feel worse now than before. BP and Oxygen levels are much better, but I can not stay awake during the day now. Even after being put on narcolepsy drug Nuvigil, until the drug takes effect, I feel really really bad. After the drug gets thru my system, I crash. CPAP is set on a level of 18lb/15lbs, feels like trying to breath with the leaf blower attached to your face. That is reduced from 22/16, at that level, I could not get the masks tight enough to keep it from blowing off my face. Hope others fair better than I am....
—Guest Trkyhntr

nightmare!

I felt no anxiety going into it - but waking up with acid reflux going down my throat and a mask on my face in a strange place left me irrationally terrified. I tore off the mask (and a few electrodes) and the attendant had to work pretty hard to keep me from leaving. The physician who analyzed the data refused to answer any questions about his recommendations. I was determined to succeed with the CPAP, but was afraid that it would trigger that same terror. But it didn't happen, and my CPAP and I eventually reached an armed truce. It helps tremendously, but is such a pain, and initially so literally painful.
—foolmeonce

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