Getting hooked up.
At about 10:30PM it was time to begin attaching all the sensors that would take readings of what seemed like every brain, breathing, facial expression and leg function one could imagine or dream up.
Plug me in!
I had two electrodes on the outside of each calf muscle to measure for Restless Leg Syndrome. Two more electrodes on my chest and one on my back for measuring heart rate. These electrodes snapped into connectors located on the elastic straps across my chest and abdomen in order to measure my breathing. All of these electrodes were all attached with sticky pads after a light scrub with what I thought was a scotch pad, ok it FELT like a scotch pad, then they were each secured with medical tape. Each individual connection had a long thin wire that plugged into a box to transmit the data to a computer in the monitoring room, which was just outside of my room.
Next, the tech measured my skull so she would know where to place the next electrodes.
These were metal discs connected to a wire and were eventually attached to my scalp with Conductive Paste. Yes, it's a nasty sticky glue. After marking certain spots on my head with a wax pencil the tech used a cotton swab stick an antiseptic gel to clean the target area, I mean location, for the sensor.
Next up was the face sensors. Three were placed across my forehead. one at the corner of each eye to monitor eye opening and three across my chin to measure jaw clenching.
The last sleep test accessory was the nasal tubing, not quite the typical oxygen cannula we use for flying but very similar. The cannula has a port in each nostril with the tubing wrapping around each ear to hold it in place. There was a small loop under my nose as a part of the cannula that hangs down and gently sits on my upper lip to monitor breaths in and out of my mouth. Finally, the pulse oximeter for measuring oxygen levels in my blood was placed on my left thumb.
When I first crawled into bed, the tech had to run a baseline test including the video and audio monitoring equipment. I would be given several commands to follow; without moving my head move my eyes right and left ten times each, move my eyes up and down ten times each. Move each foot like I was stepping on the gas pedal in a car, then move them both at once. I had to take a deep breath and hold it, cough, and clear my throat, clench my teeth and finally blink my eyes ten times. Base line numbers complete, time to sleep!
I slept fairly well all things considered. I had one nature call around 3ish (I'm guessing since she said see you in a couple of hours)and finally woke up around 6am. The first process was to unhook all of the spaghetti wires from the machine then begin pulling off the sticky pads. The goobs of glue would need plenty of hot water when I shower after getting home.
My follow up appointment with my sleep doctor is scheduled for September 16th and my Flight Physical is following three days later on the 19th. I'll be armed and ready to knock this out.
I followed up with the sleep doctor and my in hospital results were very good. I do NOT have sleep apnea. During non-REM sleep my AHI was 3 and RDI 4. In REM stage sleep both AHI and RDI were 4. Average Oxygen Saturation was 94%.
My advice - Don't waste your time or money on a take home, go to a sleep certified doctor and check yourself into the hospital for the real deal sleep study.