I went to see the doctor to get my results of my sleep study. The doctor brought out page after page, shuffling though to showed me a graph of my first night at the sleep center. He said when I clicked off the light, I was asleep within 10 minutes and I did sleep most all night, even hooked up to all of the wires. But he pointed to the part of the graph that showed my REM sleep. (deep sleep) He said REM sleep is very important and you have to have it for your body and brain to recharge daily. During my REM sleep, I had 29 episodes of compromised breathing within a one hour period. So instead of my body recharging during my REM sleep, I was fighting for air. I was not recharging, which explains why I am always sleepy and tired. I was only getting 70% oxygen instead of 100% when I lie down at night.
The doctor brought out the results of my second sleep study with me all wired up but sleeping with a CPAP machine. (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) I was getting air pumped into my airway, not oxygen. Once again, I went to sleep within 10 minutes but I had only two episodes of compromised breathing all night long. I wonder if that was the two times that the technician came into the room to wake me up? 29 episodes per hour is considered moderate sleep apnea but 30 episodes is severe, so I was right on the line with that. The doctor said I was a great candidate for wearing the CPAP machine and that he thinks it will help with my memory loss, forgetfulness and foggy thinking. I said that in the past two years, my brain just has been slipping and I don’t feel as sharp as I should. He said after about 6 weeks of getting good REM sleep that my memory should come back and I will not feel sluggish with my thinking.
I have slept with my fancy CPAP machine at home for six days now. It is not bad at all. I can breath easier and I am not getting up to go to the bathroom three times every night. The doctor said that was not a bladder thing but a brain thing. I am waking up when the alarm goes off and getting up instead of hitting the snooze alarm for an hour. The doctor said during my 6 days of sleeping with the CPAP machine at home, there were zero episodes of compromised breathing! The machine is bluetooth wireless so my sleep can be monitored and there is even an app for my phone that I can monitor. My doctor seemed excited saying he cannot wait to see me again in January to see if I can tell a difference. He made me feel excited and hopeful!