Over that past few months I haven't been getting good sleep, and my wife has noticed that I do stop breathing once in a while. So I decided to give myself a sleep study. I underwent a formal overnight sleep study many years ago just to see what it's like, and at that time, the results were unremarkable. This time, I wanted to try one of the new home sleep tests.
The sleep test was from Sleep Solutions and it's a clamshell laptop-like device with leads that connect to your finger, chest and a nasal cannula, like what you see in patients that receive oxygen in the hospital. The instructions are straight forward, and if there's any problem such as a lead falling off, the computer will tell you. The test is performed for three nights, and the device is mailed back via pre-paid shipping.
About a week later, I finally got my results. Not too surprisingly, I don't have obstructive sleep apnea. However, I did have about 2 apneas or hypopneas every hour. Looking at individual apneas, some were as long as 40 seconds! Once, my oxygen level even dropped to 88%. There are also some mild snoring.
One of the downsides of this particular test is that it doesn't show sleep stages, sleep position, or RERAs (short obstructions and arousals that don't meet the criteria for apnea or hypopnea).
I'm the last person you'd think has obstructive sleep apnea (my BMI is 20). This just goes to show that everyone, no matter what your size, shape or build, is susceptible to breathing problems.
In retrospect, now that I'm sleeping better, my nose has been less stuffy that it has been over the past few months. This only confirms how having a stuffy nose can worsen your sleep quality.
Armed with this information, I'm committed to my current regimen of regular exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep practices.