As you may or may not remember, back in July I began the process of investigating my sleeping patterns in an effort to figure out why I am constantly sleepy. The first test was inconclusive, showing some apnea, but not enough to account for my excessive fatigue. In mid-September I had my second test sleep study with a multiple sleep latency test the following day to test for narcolepsy. Today, I got my results from that test.

Frustratingly, the results from the second round of tests were also somewhat inconclusive, although I did sleep much better the second time around and gave them a much better set of data to interpret. Here's a brief comparison:
  • In Test 1, I had a 63% sleep efficiency rating versus 98% in Test 2.
  • In Test 1, I was in REM sleep for 13% of the night, versus 30% in Test 2. Such a high amount of REM sleep is an indicator for narcolepsy.
  • In Test 2, they observed far more apnea than in the original test, especially when I was in deeper sleep and REM sleep.
  • During the multiple sleep latency portion of the test, I fell asleep almost instantaneously for each nap, which is a narcolepsy indicator, but no REM sleep was observed during the naps, which is the hallmark sign of narcolepsy.
Hence, the test was sort of a mixed bag -- some of the indicators for narcolepsy were there, but not others. However, since they observed such higher levels of apnea than in the previous test, they've decided to treat for apnea and see if that resolves my daytime tiredness. If it does, then they won't pursue narcolepsy. If, after being treated for apnea, I'm still having trouble staying awake during the day, they will continue testing for narcolepsy. It's not really the neat and tidy answer I'd been hoping for, but at least it's a start, and we have a course of action now that will hopefully result in a more wakeful existence.

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