So I’ve been snoring over the past few years. A lot. So much so that Nick has heard me through concrete walls. So much so that my girlfriend has been driven to the other bedroom. So much so that I wake up some mornings and I wince from the severe pain in my throat.
Granted, this has probably been going on longer than I’ve thought. But in my early 20′s I distinctly remember being told I didn’t snore – I just grind my teeth a lot. I guess once one starts, the other follows? Who knows?
So purely out of a desire to sleep soundly with my girlfriend & save what’s left of my throat, I went here:
So I was told to go to the Sleep Center by my doctor to be checked for Sleep Apnea among other things. What is Sleep Apnea? Well my understanding of it is that for us mouth breathers (at least when we sleep – I’m a nose breather in my waking hours). The throat becomes blocked or collapsed in some way, causing one to wake themselves up out of a sleep. Things that happen because of this? Snoring, High Blood Pressure, Memory Loss (Is this why remembering lyrics has been a pain in the ass lately?), and weight gain. And here I thought it was because of the cold weather and the holidays. According to my doctor, there’s a few ways snoring and/or Sleep Apnea can be treated. Medicine, Breathing Masks, or Surgery (A scary thought having never really been under the knife).
So I really have no idea what to expect other than someone is going to watch me sleep and hook me up to a monitor of some kind…Little did I know…
Before I go any further, I need to say that I woke up late yesterday, around 11am. Getting there at 7:30pm, I really didn’t feel like sleeping. I tried to wear myself out by running an extra half mile or so (3.6 miles in 42 minutes actually.) and reading to make my eyes tired.
So I get there last night around 7:30 (In case you’re wondering, I’m a punctual one.) And they showed me to a bedroom lit up by florescent lights. Not exactly conducive to sleeping really. But I got into my comfy pj pants and tried to relax. Before I got into the bed to flick on the Orange Bowl Game I noticed these things:
Trying to calm myself down, I turned off the volume of the TV in the room and began to read my Pirate book. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. His last book, I’m guessing. The sleeve says they found the complete manuscript in his files after his death in 2008. It’s a fun read. A little short on detail at moments, but I’m guessing that it probably wasn’t exactly finished.
The nurse came into the room to brief me on what she’s going to hook me up to – which was all those wires and pads that were lying there. I was also going to be monitored by camera and microphone all through the night. That’s just a little weird. Then she went about giving me a 20 minute questionnaire based on my sleep patterns, drinking patterns, health issues, etc. It was during this question/answer session it dawned on me that it’s been a year since I quit smoking (Go me!). Once all the questions were answered and forms signed, she left for me to get relaxed and ready for bed and she would return to hook me up.
She came back about 15 minutes later and did this:
So once all these things are hooked up to me, I’m now expected to sleep. There’s even stuff attached to my legs! So around 10/10:30pm it’s lights out and time to sleep. Right before the lights turn out, there’s one more thing hooked up to me: A simple pulse monitor on my index finger. You ever feel your own pulse through your body? This little pulse monitor, in addition to glowing red, caused me to feel my whole arm up to the shoulder pulsate. Those little straps snugly fit across my chest & stomach? I feel my pulse in my whole torso from that. I don’t know if its claustrophobia from being hooked up to all those wires or what but every beat of my pulse I felt the entire night.
They tell you to sleep normally. I usually move around when I sleep. Sometimes I sleep on half of my face and stomach, holding onto a pillow. Other times I sleep on my side, other times on my back, which I’m guessing is where most of the snoring comes from. HOW THE HELL CAN THEY EXPECT YOU TO SLEEP NORMALLY WHEN ALL THIS STUFF IS ATTACHED TO YOU?!?
But I tried (Oh my god, how I tried) to sleep. I laid there in the dark. Hours went by. The room got warmer. The room got dryer. My lips began to crack, my throat needed water. Fortunately I had asked for some earlier. Even drinking water did nothing for the dryness of this room. Blowing my nose produced blood. There was really no way in hell possible for me to sleep short of swallowing pills. No one offered, so I assumed they wanted you to get natural sleep. But I tried to sleep. I really tried. The nurse even said the guy in the room next to me went out like a light.
Next there were the wires in my head. I’d turn, they’d pop out of the pad. I’d toss, they’d pop out of the pad. I’d almost get to sleep, you guessed it – they’d come out. These wires coming out meant within 5 minutes the nurse would come into the room, letting the blinding light of the florescent hallway into the room. Of course this woke me right up. I finally got up near 1am and turned on a lamp to read.
After immersing myself in Pirate voyages for about an hour, I made another attempt to sleep. After what seemed like an eternity of almost fading and them popping a wire and then being woken up to have it replaced. I got to sleep! Sweet glorious sleep! About 30 minutes later it was 5:30am and time to go. Basically, I went to a sleep study and didn’t sleep. The nurse then tells me, “I don’t know what your girlfriend is complaining about. You didn’t snore.”
Great. The whole reason for me going is to find out why I snore and when I get tested I don’t. I’m in a shitty mood. I haven’t slept. I have to go back to work tomorrow. I’m not thrilled at all about the results of the evening. However, I know I have to stop snoring. I assume I’m going to have to go back and do all this again. If it means that I won’t keep my girlfriend up or tear up my throat, I’ll keep doing the sleep study until there’s something that can be done about my snoring. I just hope I actually sleep next time because this no sleep thing sucks!
Also, don’t forget to see us Friday night, where I won’t be snoring or sleeping @ Dockside’s lounge with The War Office!
Don’t forget, we’re looking for fan photos of shows or you guys enjoying them! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Til next time,
ST from CZ