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sleep clinic /study
11 Replies
chaplin - June 18

Have any of you been to do a sleep study? I am set up to go to one this weekend and am a bit nervous. If anyone has any input it would be appreciated. I have no idea what to expect. Do you need to be off your meds for them to get a real idea of your sleep issues?
I am now on Cymbalta and Amitriptyln at night and don't know if that will effect my results.


The Bonz - June 18

Hi Chaplin, I did a sleep study in February. My doctor was checking to see if I had sleep apnea. I didn't have to do anything special to prepare, though. I took my meds as usual and even took my Ambien CR to help me sleep that night. I would suggest if you have any doubts or questions about the study you should ask your doctor. I was a bit nervous too, but there was nothing to worry about. They just attached the probes to my skin and I watched t.v. until I fell asleep. It didn't hurt at all and I am a BIG wimp, lol. I don't think you have anything to worry about.


chaplin - June 21

Thanks for the response the Bonz. I am here at the sleep study clinic - I feel like a Si Fi character with all the wires but so far so good. Perhaps I will sleep better here with no kids and cat to wake me up. It is actually pretty nice and quiet ( :


Crystallinegreen - July 6

I am registered in polysomnography and work at a sleep clinic. I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. :(
Chaplin, though it appears you have already had your sleep study I figured I will give others some info. that may be helpful. Bare with me, it may be long, but worth the read...

People who have fibro often have sleep with what is called Alpha intrusion and K arousals in their brainwaves. Alpha waves are what "normal" people show only when they are awake. When a fibro patient is asleep, instead of getting into a deeper sleep they have mixes of alpha intrusion showing. This shows that fibro patients are unable to get into that well needed, restorative deep sleep. Fibro patients also have "K arousals" in their brainwaves. These K arousals appear often times when a patient is asleep and in pain. It is normal for patients to have "K complex brainwaves," but not brain arousals started by these waveforms.
A lot of times medications do not do much to help, so doctors usually suggest getting a sleep study done to make sure there is no apnea (cessation in breathing) while sleeping.

What to expect for your study:
-You will get "hooked up" to electrodes including ones on your head to monitor brainwaves, an ECG to monitor your heart, sticky electrodes on your legs to look for limb movements, respiratory belts that sit overtop of your shirt at your chest and abdomen to monitor your breathing effort, electrodes at your sides to sense how your muscles are working with each breath etc. A sensor on your index finger to monitor O2 and little sensors in and/or at your nose to give us the actual breathing waveform.

-There are cameras in the rooms so we can monitor you; however, we are primarly looking at the computer screen with all of the information. We rarely look at the actual picture of you. Our job is not that boring that we only look at a picture of you sleeping so don't stress! :)

-We are there for YOU. Our job is to take care of you and do whatever is needed to help you. Trust your doctor and your sleep tech. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask us!

-The doctor may want to try the CPAP machine with you. There is a mask that goes over the nose or just inside your nostrils that has airflow going through it to hold your airway open. Someone does not need to have full blown sleep apnea to benefit from it. I have had patients with UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome) that have had the same benefits as the severe non-breathers. Some patients may have resistance with each breath and once they get a little extra air in their airway it helps by leaps and bounds.

Other general info:

-Symptoms of OSA are excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, weight gain, high blood pressure, severe headaches, lack of concentration etc. These sympotoms should not be ignored. People who have sleep apnea and do not get it treated are more likely to have a heart attack and/or a stroke.

-Sleep disorders run in families. Sleep apnea, for example, runs in my family. I have also have three generations of patients from one family come for sleep studies. Usually if one member of the family goes and has a positive experience then the others are more likely to go as well.

-Make sure your sleep doctor is one that is in the field because he is passionate about it and not just money driven. Unformtunately a lot of unqualified sleep doctors are practicing due to sleep medicine being "new" in the medical field. Get referals from friends or family. Also, if I was a patient I would hesitate to go to a doctor who actually SELLS the CPAP machines. Usually, they are just in it for the money and may not give you the adequate care you need and deserve.

Please don't hesitate to let me know if there are any other questions. My sleep lab is in Ohio, but I know there are many wonderfully qualified doctors and registered techs all over.



chaplin - July 6

Thanks for the info. It was a really interesting experience. I didn't get my results yet - I go on the 20th. I really wonder what they will find. At first I thought it would be hard to sleep but they make you so comfortable that I think I may have fallen asleep better than I do at home. I woke up often through the night - mostly because of pain so I am interested to see if they picked that up. I'll let you all know how my results come back so if any of you are thinking of doing it I can hopefully help out too.


Crystallinegreen - July 6

I am glad to hear that they made you comfortable with the experience. I hope all is well with the results. Take care!



missbeloved - July 12

I have Fibromyalgia and 3 years ago I was sent for a sleep study. I am so glad I went. To be truthful, since I use a c-pap breathing machine the fibro pain was a lot less I still have problems sleeping and I use Ambein. I think you should try it . I also take Lyrica for other symptoms.Whenever I do miss using the c-pap machine , I am so fatigued I can hardly make it. I was told the machine gave my brain and muscles oxygen. Sleep is a very important part of pain relief.


missbeloved - July 12

I did the sleep study years ago and for some reason the CPAP machine helped ease some of the Fibro pain and helped with energy. I even loss a few pounds because I was in such a deep sleep. Most mornings I feel really rested.

How often should you go back for a sleep study?


Crystallinegreen - July 15

I'm glad to hear the CPAP has helped some of you. Back pain is often linked to sleep apnea so once people are treated with the CPAP it helps to alleviate the pain.
Different doctors have different opinions as to how often to get rechecks with sleep studies.
All can probably agree that if there is a drastic change in weight, either up or down, you should get rechecked with an overnight study. If you are sleeping with the wrong amount of airflow (due to weight changes etc.) your sleep can start to get fragemented again and you will start to feel fewer benefits from the CPAP. It is good to check in with them for a doctor's appointment once a year. As for an actual overnight study, age can also affect our airways and their collapsability and as you get older some people need more airflow so their CPAP pressure needs changed. If I were you I would ask your doctor what he recommends, but at my clinic most patients (if there are no changes in weight etc.) come in for night studies every couple of years (2-3). I hope that helps!



belle1329 - July 16

HI Thank you for the info, I will be having my sleep study in Sept an I now have an idea what to expect ;-)


chaplin - July 21

I thought I'd share with you all what my sleep study showed.
I did not get one wink of deep restorative sleep. I woke up constantly - I didn't realize I was waking this much. I also had a full hour where I just laid awake with my eyes closed btwn 4 and 5 am. I don't remember being awake. My Oxygen levels were great. No snoring and no need to be on the CPAP machine. I was showing pain in my brain waves. My sleep results were so bad that they want me to repeat the test without being on my meds. So I will go back in about a month after going of the meds. Sadly I just started noticing a difference with my cymbalta and my pain levels so I am not looking forward to going off it. They will do a night time test and day time test. I will go in on a Friday night and sleep there. On Saturday I will stay there and they will let me sleep for 20 minutes every 2 hours. So I will let you all know what they say. It was a really interesting experience. I also learned a lot about sleep and what my body is doing. The dr. said that he will help me get better sleep when we see how I am doing off my meds. I almost cried when I heard that - I have not gotten a good night sleep in years.


chaplin - August 7

So am am back tonight for part 2 of my sleep study. I will stay there tonight and spend the day there till about 3 - 5 tomorrow afternoon. I am actually looking forward to it. I have had 4 days straight with next to little sleep. I have had to go off my meds for the test and wow I didn't realize how much they were helping till I got off them. I was in pain on them but it is like someone turned on all my senses in overdrive. I'll let you all know of my results perhaps my experience can help some of us. The dr. is really informative so I hope he can help me get some ZZZs. Sleep tight.



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