Tuesday, August 31

Sleep, the final frontier!

ECG leads
Originally uploaded by bigyahu.

Last night I checked into a sleep research clinic for a night on the monitors. I was there to establish whether my persistent snoring was a symptom of sleep apnea, and if so, whether it was doing me any harm (other than affecting my relationship with my wife.)

They put electrodes on my scalp to monitor brainwaves, electrodes next to my eyes to monitor REM eye movement, elecrodes under my chin to monitor mouth muscles during snoring, electrodes on my chest and back to monitor my heartbeat, electrodes on my calves to see whether I suffered "restless leg syndrome" (which really does exist), tubes in my nose to monitor exhalations, another on my upper lip to monitor humidity, and a blood gas monitor on my index finger.

Then they turned the lights out at bedtime and watched me through an infra-red camera as I took about an hour to finally get to sleep.

As you can imagine, with all that hardware and wiring, it was hard just to get to sleep at all. And when I needed to go pee in the middle of the night, I had to page the attendant to unplug me from the wall and into a portable monitor box. Oh, the indignity!

They woke me up at 5am, sent me home, and in about a week I have to go see the specialist to review my results. All the attendant would tell me this morning was that I was OK to operate heavy machinery for the time-being. Off to the bulldozer rental shop for me, then!

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