I think we can all agree this is a great look, no? You are looking at your gladiator in the Sleep Wars, properly outfitted for leveling up. That's right, folks! A shiny new CPAP machine is headed my way. Oh, what a time it's been.
My struggles with the Sleep Gods have been well-documented. I've been a chronic insomniac all my life. Even as a young child, I can remember taking 1-4 hours to fall asleep at night. Chronic sleep deprivation has been a way of life so long, it's hard to imagine a truly well-rested world. Every now and then I get a patch of good sleep, and oh, the joy!
But for the last year or two, I've been waking up more and more exhausted. I also seem to be turning into my mother, as far as snoring goes, and this is not a good thing. If there were Snoring Olympics, it would not be a matter of whether my mother would medal, it would just be a matter of which. Her snores penetrate walls, distance, and perhaps even the fabric of time itself. So when the H.O. notified me I was starting to snore, we both quailed in fear.
I'm not at her level yet, but it's trending in the wrong direction, so finally the H.O. suggested I see a doctor about this. (If by suggested we mean nagged, directed, and harangued, that is. Hee!) Once the doc heard my sad tales of a toxic mix of insomnia, exhaustion, and snoring, a sleep study was ordered. So in I went. I'd seen photos of friends all dolled up with the electrodes, so I had an idea of what to expect. I was afeared, but then I stepped into my Snoozy Suite, and thought, hey! Not so bad.
There were a million remotes, and the fancy TV/DVD and etc., about which I care not at all. But then I found ANOTHER remote, to a fancy adjustable bed. Sadly, I had already lost nearly a half hour of the heavenly comfort that was my due. Apparently not everyone is as excited about this as I was, because that was not extolled, nor even mentioned, in the list of features she'd regaled me with before heading out to see another patient. Am I the only person on the planet lusting for a Kraftmatic Adjustable Bed? (Isn't that what those commercials used to be for?)
Now to the test. Here's the back of the suite door, which is a tiny bit less welcoming, as I knew from those aforementioned photos that all these electrodes would be ending up on me:
All loaded up:
Fun! Restful, too. And all snuggled in:
While I can't call it a restful night, I lived through it. Only remembered waking up/being woken for whatevers, 3 or 4 times. She'd told me that they fit for the CPAP mask (lovely pic at top of page) in case all the stars align, or whatever, and they can put that on during the night and see how one tolerate it, and what effect it has. This never happened, so I assumed that I did not suffer from serious sleep apnea.
It's always refreshing to be reminded of how wrong one can be. So here's how it shakes out: there's something called the The Apnea–Hypopnea Index that measures how how much the AH division of Sleep Gods is whupping on you. Let's see what the Wiki has to say about it:
It is represented by the number of apnea andhypopnea events per hour of sleep. The apneas (pauses in breathing) must last for at least 10 seconds and be associated with a decrease in blood oxygenation. Combining AHI and oxygen desaturation gives an overall sleep apnea severity score that evaluates both the number of sleep disruptions and the degree of oxygen desaturation (low oxygen level in the blood).
In non-REM sleep, my index is 11, which is mild. Cool! I'm a rock star. But wait. What's that, you say? What about that oh-so-important REM sleep, without which there is no restorative magnificence in sleep and you will go mad a/o die? Oh, well, if we're looking at THAT score, for Ramona's REM sleep, where 30 is considered where severe starts, we have a winning 43! BONUS for the Sleep Gods, for sure.
Now, I'm not a doctor, nor mathematician, but simple math would make it appear that bottom line here is that for however few or many precious hours of REM sleep I get a night, after Insomnia Gods have had their fun, said REM sleep is interrupted by various levels of brain waking up slightly, a/o lack of oxygen, UMPTY-GAZILLION times, to get technical. So I think it's pretty clear why I'm so happy about a CPAP. This is maybe fixable? Fabulous. Because I've had about enough of zombie life:
I realize, my tune may change when I wear one of those bad boys. (Or girl. I don't know. Not sure which gender it will be. Perhaps I'll wait and see what its personality is like first. HA!) But honestly? Even the idea of possible restorative sleep has me quivering with anticipation. I shall report back soon (hopefully from the land of the well-rested).