Think you have sleep apnea? Worried about the sleep lab test? Relive a doctor’s personal experience.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I hope you enjoy our video. We have worked long and hard to create and edit this. My managing editor, Leigh Ann Hubbard, and director of photography, Gary Otte, have done most of the work.

After going through the experience myself, I wanted to give people a feeling of what it is really like. I put the test off for a while because I thought I would miss a day’s work before and after and be exhausted due to lack of sleep that night. That just was not the case at all. Sure, there are a lot of wires, but they are bunched up out of the way. It was really worth it for me.

Has anyone else experienced a sleep lab?

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6 Responses to “Think you have sleep apnea? Worried about the sleep lab test? Relive a doctor’s personal experience.”

  1. Mark Salinas Says:

    Very nice video, well done! I have yet to experience a sleep lab. I wonder if all units are as hotel like?. One question, what is done with a claustrophobic individual that finds it challenging to have all of the straps and wires hooked up? Thanks for putting yourself into the hands on roll and taking us through the experience.

    Mark Salinass last blog post..One Minute Challenge

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H Says:

    I don’t know about if all the labs are hotel like or not, but I suspect most are. If in doubt I would visit them first. I would not want to go through it without a comfortable bed away from all the noise.

    I asked the tech about claustrophobia. She said talk with your doctor about a sedative or sleeping pill. It is rare, but some just can’t go through with it. The only thing that seems a little claustropobic, to me, is the cpap mask for treatment. Luckily. for people that don’t like a mask they make a cpap now that just fits into the nostrils.

  3. Kitrona Says:

    My sleep lab was quite nice, although it had no shower facilities. That was the only lack, though!

  4. James Hubbard Says:

    Well, I didn’t use it but it was there.
    Thanks Kitrona

  5. Teresa Says:

    I had a sleep study done last week. I am still depressed about it. I have severe insomnia. I took Ambien but it still took me over an hour to fall asleep. At home I would get up and do something but I felt uncomfortable doing that at the sleep lab. I woke up (as per my usual night) 2 hours after falling asleep. I usually wake up because I have terrible knee pain and I have to take Ibuprofen. They would not allow me to take narcotic pain reliever. I was unable to fall asleep again and did get up. I think I read a book for about 40 minutes then asked to try to sleep again. I fell asleep only to be awakened by the sleep tech telling me I needed to put on a CPAP. I was extremely upset and anxious. I started crying. He offered not to do it but I said no, I am not coming back here for another study so please just do it. It was HORRIBLE. The “mask” was as I now know, nasal pillows. It made my face sweat and my nose and mouth dry. I could not sleep after they put the CPAP on for almost 40 minutes. I woke up 2 hours later and could not wait to get out of there. They told me that I needed a presciprtion for CPAP but I wanted to talk to the doctor 1st. I went into the sleep study because I can not fall asleep at night or stay asleep. I am normally tired after a long day but still can not sleep. I have no other syptoms of apnea. My incidents were int he range of 10-20 AHI’s (I have been doing research). After the study I went home and took 2 Valium and slept for about 4 hours. I am scared to death that I will never sleep again because I can not wear a CPAP. I hated the sleep lab and I think I have post-traumatic stress. They never asked my why I cant fall asleep or why I wake up. All they seemed to care about was the apnea and getting me on a machine. Do they get kickbakcs from the CPAP companies??

    I will be seeing the Dr next week and I am not going down without a fight. I want treatment for my sleep disorder (insomnia) and this machine is just going to make it worse. HELP!

  6. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    I am sorry you had so much trouble, Teresa. I am doing pretty well with my cpap but still wake up tired, just not as tired.

    Just go over everything with your doctor. Although cpap is the most effective treatment, there are alternatives like dental inserts, etc. Maybe some relaxation techniques or biofeedback might help.

    James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.s last blog post..How to Help a Loved One: depression, alcoholism, addiction …

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