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Another Sleep Lab


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I think Merril had the last sleep lab experience. I'm just wondering if you got the results? Mine was horrible. I finally found someone out there that talks more than I. I rushed there at 8:30 pm after bathing and getting the kids to bed. I waited in line for awhile (You know how us POTs patients love to do that!) to check in while the technician yapped on the phone, but did not actually get hooked up until 9:30 or 10:00pm. The lab person was friendly but just kept going on and on.

I was tired so I pretty much fell right to sleep. The 20 cables they have attached to your body seemed to be only half the length of say, an IV cord. I'm a tosser/turner, so it was very hard to flip over or get comfortable. The room was set up like a hotel with a double bed but it was freezing. I always forget that hosptial-type places only use a sheet and blanket (no comforter) on the beds, so I was really cold. I usually try to bring a twin size comforter, but I forgot this time.

I usually wake up to roll over or get comfortable and then go back to sleep several times during the night. I did the same here, but had trouble going back to sleep each time because the wires were tugging at me and the stupid pulsox (sp) thing on my finger was digging into my skin. I pretty much laid there from 4:00-5:15am when the test was finally over.

I also didn't go to the bathroom the whole time because I was ambarrased to sit up and wave to the camera to get unplugged or ring the bell laying next to my bed. I actually don't think it was anyone's fault, I just think I'm such a picky sleeper. Anyway, I'm not sure what kind of results they'll get based on that night's lack of sleep. I felt hungover the entire next day.

So, I guess that's a yucky outlook on a sleep lab. I'm more interested in mine and Merril's results and how they might be related to POTS. Again, I don't think I actually stop breathing...but I think the drop in blood pressure at night decreases our oxygen intake making a not so restful sleep.... making me tired all the time. Even if this turns out to be the case, I'm not sure how to fix this. Wish me luck.

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Oh, dear! I'll be thinking of you as wait for your results! (I will call my primary care doc, who knows nothing of pots per se except for what I've sent him/told him, on Monday to see if he's gotten my results. It'll be 2 weeks.)

Is that how long you have to wait for your results too? It sounds like a dreadful experience; mine was a little better, though certainly we shared many identical challenges. I complained bitterly in the morning about the thing on my finger--the pain was horrible during the night, and I had a deep dent in my forefinger for a couple of hours the next day. Ouch! Didn't expect that.

Who you get for a test technician makes every bit of difference. Yours acted inappropriately, I'd have to say. I liked mine a lot; she had a very calm and soothing demeanor, and she said a number of things to put me at my ease--even though I too had to wait a long time before getting hooked up. No line for me. (She ensured me that I would indeed fall asleep, despite looking and feeling like something from Frankenstein's lab...) After I told her that I was a tosser-turner and was concerned about disconnecting the wires, she told me what she said she tells everyone: just be careful when you turn over. She said it helps people to actually turn less during the night and to stay more stable... it worked for me, tho I still woke a number of times. I woke from a dream after 2 hours and felt frightened and a little sick to my stomach. I felt no shame in pushing that button and getting her in there to disconnect me so I could go the bathroom (thank goodness--and she was nice about it).

My sleep study actually took place on a floor in an actual hotel that the hospital leases across the street! It's always so tough to get the blankets and temperature just right... and certainly it's impossible to predict what it'll be like or to be completely prepared. Try not to beat yourself up about that. You may actually have slept more than you think you did... Did they measure your blood pressure? I can't remember... they measure pretty much everything else!

Thanks for posting about your experience (I don't know why I've prattled on about mine... your note triggered some memories, I guess, that I hadn't written about here before.) I hope you catch up on your sleep soon! And let us know what you find out too!

Take good care,


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Hi again Merrill:

Yes, I will have to wait two weeks for my results. The technician repeatedly told me I was not allowed to ask her any questions about the exam, or my results, or how I slept. I did ask her what some of the wires were for and in particular the little unit on my lip that slightely went up my nose. I guess that measures and splits how much you breath through your nose and how much through your mouth.

Yes michiganjan, watch out for the finger pulsox. Merrill and I seemed to have the same "indented finger" experience. I finally ended up moving the thing to another finger because it hurt so bad. I'm not sure if that messed anything up or not. You may want to ask about it before your exam.

Yes, my technician was not that great. I thought when she woke me up she would be really gentle, but she just sort of flipped on the lights and TV and started ripping cords off of me. Not very pleasant. I also really had to scrub my scalp hard to get all the glue out. I'm 6 months pregnant and really should have gotten up at least once to go to the restroom. Maybe if I had a different technician, I would have felt more comfortable getting up.

I think it's important to share all the gritty components of all the testing that us POTS patients go through, so we know what to expect and are not shocked by anything. Thanks for your input and I will post my results when I get them.

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Yes, you're probably right about sharing those details ... for some reason I felt a little shy about that when I first posted. (And now I realize that some of my details could have helped you get through it a little better... sorry about that! :D )

I asked about the air tube that sits just inside the nostrils; my technician said it was measuring air intake. I asked--what if I breathe through my mouth--and she said it still works. Ahh, the miracles of modern science. The whole thing is just so weird--and cool at the same time.

In the morning, my technician talked to me first through the speaker... then came in and turned on the lights etc. She also gave me advice about getting the stuff out of my hair. (I have extremely thick, curly hair...) She said to wipe as much of it out with a washcloth first before hitting the shower. I think that did help. (Gee, I feel so bad I didn't tell you this before, Migraine! Grrr... do you have another name? I feel funny writing that... ;) )

I had a feeling my technician wouldn't tell me anything too--but I asked her anyway "Are you allowed to tell me anything about how I slept?" That's when she told me about my apneas on the left side but said the doctors would be analyzing everything in much greater detail.

And may I just say how amazed I am that you didn't get up in the middle of the night to pee? I had forgotten that you were pregnant! I'm not, and I still get up every night... You must've really been hurting! (Never mind the finger...)

Michigan Jan, don't chicken out! Did the one 15 years ago yield any interesting results? Did it help you in any way? Do you think your sleep habits have changed?

It's true that one can have better and worse experiences in the study, but it sure is a fascinating thing to go through. (I mean--it's not altogether pleasant--don't get me wrong, but I'm interested in human physiology anyway, and I think it was an interesting process that hopefully will give me some useful information that in the end, just may help me feel better. Bad sentence--sorry, too tired to edit.)

Sleep tight,


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Hey Merrill:

My name is Jennifer. I haven't been using it because, since I found this sight, I have been venting venting venting.

My Step-Father told me the sleep lab was no sweat...but he can sleep standing up and had a wonderful technician. I'm just so picky about everything that I always assume, whatever can go wrong with any test...will <_<

If you need the test, you should take it. It's only one night of being uncomfortable. I usually sleep with my husband, 3 kids, and a cat...so I don't know why I am complaining so much...at least I got the whole bed to myself :D

Thanks for the info.


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I just thought I'd post today to say how disappointed I am that I'm not going to get my results for perhaps another week! (They were due today, after 2 weeks... B) ) I'm annoyed too; I hoped to have the results to take to my follow-up w/cardiologist on Wednesday afternoon. I'll call again on Wednesday morning just in case... but I'm not counting on it. Phooey.


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