Category: "Sleep"

I survived a PSG/MSLT

On December 2nd, 2010, I went in for a PSG/MSLT. 2 years ago, on December 1st, 2008, I had gotten my first PSG.

Originally, I was scheduled for 9pm, but they moved the time up to 7:30pm...which was the same time as first PSG, though it was a much bigger inconvenience this time around. Partly because I was going to be bring more stuff with me, though it turned out that I only needed my cpap mask and not all the other stuff. But, this time I brought my own pillow...specially, I brought my Regenesis buckwheat pillow. But, the other hassle is that I don't move as quickly as I normally do, due to a broken toe.

But, I made in in time. Though I was getting pretty angry/frustrated by all the things that had to go wrong as I was scurrying around trying to get out in enough time to hobble over to the sleep lab.

The night before when they called to confirm my appointment, I finally asked if there was internet access there. There isn't, but being that I'm with K-State...I should be able to pick up the network and use that. So, I brought my laptop.

Getting wired up wasn't a huge deal, wasn't as bad as I remembered the first time being. But, I heard my watch chime 8pm while I was still getting wired up....so I guess I was going to be a little late to the Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia chat on TalkAboutSleep.com, but I made it in and hung out there until it was over. And, then it was time to get to the PSG part of my stay.

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Sleep Diary Spreadsheet

With an impending PSG/MSLT (December 2nd, 2010), and a particularly disrupted night's sleep recently...I got to thinking that I would start my sleep diary now. Rather than wait until the requested 2 weeks before the PSG/MSLT.

Of course, the sleep lab provided a sleep diary on a printed sheet to fill out. Which means either I fill it from memory now and then, or carry it wherever I go. If only there were some way to, say, use a computer.... :hmm:

I did a quick google search, and all I could find were PDF files. Surely somebody else has thought of this? :?:

So, looking at the provided sleep diary sheet from the sleep lab, I sat down and created a sleep diary spreadsheet using OpenOffice....using my laptop (Ubuntu 10.04LTS) [which when at home is on futon in front of TV, but I'll be at Chicago TARDIS the weekend before the PSG/MSLT]

:!: SleepDiary.ods :!: BlankSleepDiary.ods :!:

I opted to leave it in the default format, so that I won't have to deal with OpenOffice asking if I'm sure that I want to not use OpenDocument format.

I then saved the file into my Dropbox folder and created a link from my desktop to it. I can now update my sleep diary wherever I might be.

Such as living room computer (Windows XP Professional - OpenOffice), or computer next to bedroom (Ubuntu 10.04LTS 64-bit Server), or computer at work (Windows 7 Professional - LibreOffice).

Liking the result so much, I've decided that I should share it. &#59;D

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What is an MSLT?

An MSLT, Multiple Sleep Latency Test, is a nap study. It is used to see how quickly you fall asleep in quiet situations during the day.

The study is based on the idea that you should fall asleep in a shorter amount of time as your feeling of sleepiness increases. The MSLT charts your brain waves, heartbeat, records your eye and chin movements. The study also measures how quickly and how often you enter the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep. Results of the nap study are routinely used to detect sleep disorders.

The study isolates you from outside factors that can affect your ability to fall asleep. These factors include such things as the following:

  • Temperature (too hot or too cold)
  • Light
  • Noise
  • Activity

Other factors that can still affect the results of the study include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Age
  • Caffeine
  • Drugs and medications
  • Amount of sleep prior to the study

The use of stimulants needs to be stopped for two weeks before the MSLT. Your sleep specialist should help you properly schedule the use of any other medications.

An MSLT is used to evaluate people who are thought to have narcolepsy. Most people with narcolepsy fall asleep in average of less than fire minutes during the test. Some take longer than five minutes to fall asleep. There are also people without narcolepsy who fall asleep in less than five minutes. The test also counts sleep-onset REM periods (SOREMPS). This is having REM sleep very soon after you fall asleep. REM sleep is normally the fifth and last stage of each sleep cycle. Having two or more SOREMPS in an MSLT is usually the indicator of narcolepsy.

An MSLT may be used to see if a person has idiopathic hypersomnia. These patients will fall asleep easily but do not have SOREMPS.

An MSLT will reveal a broad range of time in which it takes normal sleepers to fall asleep. Normal sleepers usually fall asleep in an average of about ten minutes during the five naps of the MSLT. Due to the wide range of normal times, the results alone are not enough to diagnose a sleep disorder. Doctors must also consider other data, tests, and medical information.

Sleep Cycle on my iPhone

Last weekend, while checking my usual daily websites....I came across mention of a gadget on gdgt called WakeMate. I have been toying with the idea of getting one of these gadgets for years, decades? Definitely well before I learned of my sleep disorders and started the therapy for them.

Now I still have other problems and eventually hope to start some kind of treatment for those. Soon I'll be done with the joys of taking iron pills for the 'anemia'.

So, while googling around trying to learn about WakeMate, I came across a review of Sleep Cycle. An iPhone app that also works by monitoring your sleep and trying figure out the optimal point in a window before your planned wake time to wake you.

Give that it was only 99cents, I decided I didn't have anything to lose by trying it. Though it was kind of inconvenient that it was Sunday when I found it. But, I decided to start using it right away....seemed safe enough to try.

Here's the sleep graph for my first night:

SleepGraphFeb22

The window the app does is 30 minutes, and this first night it woke me 30 minutes before my normal alarm. And, I certainly wasn't feeling it, so I ignored it and went back to sleep....ended up sleeping through to my normal 3rd alarm.

The 3 alarm sequence is radio alarm, which is followed with a beeper alarm, which is then followed by a light coming on....a 55W CFL 5000K lamp.

I continued to use the app...and by the 5th night (Friday morning) I woke a few minutes before my alarm, found a sleep graph of this:

SleepGraphFeb26

and was able to get out of bed. Had to hang around the bedroom to shush the alarm....but managed to get my morning things done and out the door at a good time.

I continued to run it over the weekend....

Friday Night/Saturday Morning:

SleepGraphFeb27

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning:

SleepGraphFeb28

Woke up good on Saturday and managed to do all the errands I wanted to get done....first going to Aggieville and then later going the other way to Westloop.

Sunday morning was also good, but then the lazy kicked in and I ended up not going out to do the other errands in the Westloop area. So, thinking I might hit Campus Food or something again. &#59;D

I wonder if I should ask about getting another Sleep Study and see what kind of sleep structure I'm having now. There's a Zeo product that get into sleep structure....though the forehead attachment for its sensors is a problem, since my CPAP mask covers my forehead. But, the Sleep Cycle app does show that it does take me a while to fall asleep now and the waking during the night...which sometimes takes forever to get back to sleep again. Could be much worse looking if I weren't taking a sleep aid....

Hopefully doing something about the next thing wrong with me will finally do it.

Stage 1 of the Bedroom Project

Here's a picture of the little corner where I go to sleep each night is looking like now....

My Bed

Don't know if I'll feel like snapping any other parts....