Tags: nap

My first trip since starting Xyrem

I mostly survived.... I flew down to DFW to take care of some business at the DHS Global Enrollment office. Having used the Global Entry benefit of my Amex card. Wonder now if I should add Nexus.

And, I was surprisingly awake and productive through most of the trip. Despite being out of my Dex, was supposed to hear about a refill script though had canceled my appointment for having to go out of town for an emergency... guess nobody else there has come through on writing the script for him. Though don't know if the 12-hour decongestant on top of my Nuvigil helped or not. In past trips, I could sleep most of the flight away even though I had taken my Nuvigil and a 12-hour decongestant. This trip...there was still the uncontrollable desire to sleep during take off, which I gave into on the way to DFW...but didn't on the way back from DFW. Otherwise I was awake and productive during the trip.

Though I had originally intended that the productive time would be used to finish some of the many draft posts languishing on my main blog, I spent most of it back filling this site scattered posts along my journey so far.

It was really nice finally using another benefit from my Amex card...."Airport Club Access Program". Certainly made a big difference being able to sit in the Admirals Club working on my computer than if I had to sit in the noisy, busy main terminal space, next to whatever outlet I might find.

In the end, the only problem was that the total trip was a bit longer than 12 hours....and the decongestant gave out somewhere into taking off on the way home. I could feel the pressure building in my head as we got closer and closer to home. Wonder if the light supper before was a problem. I never did pin down what foods in the evening lead to congestion and such. Usually I don't eat at the airport at this time, but I wasn't going to eat after I get home like I normally do. Was worried that I might blow an eardrum like I did back in 2005 (flying back from an interview with Yahoo! Mail). Fortunately, landing in Manhattan restored the balance. Wonder what I should do now that I'm home.

The other thing I did different this trip, was using BlackCarMHK. Which was really nice....got to the airport way earlier than I needed to be, especially since I didn't have a bag to check...which I will in my future trips. And, it was definitely better for the trip home than I've ever had to go through. That part definitely makes it worth it for flying out of MHK. They also do airport transfers with MCI, and I'm certainly tempted to consider them should that need arise. They also do Wichita, which may have possibilities. Plus who knows what else there'll be that isn't an airport to consider.

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.