Colby's Sleep Test
Colby's snoring problem is so bad that even his dog won't sleep with him! He's already tried over-the-counter sleep remedies in a "Human Lab" experiment, and now he's checking into a sleep lab hoping to find a cure. With 27 electrodes on his body and a team of experts examining his condition at the National Sleep Center in Sugarland, TX, can Colby ultimately get a good night's sleep?
Dr. Michael Breus, who specializes in sleep disorders, considers sleep apnea as a possible health issue for Colby. "Sleep apnea is where your throat closes and you don't breath," Dr. Michael Breus explains. When Colby tells him that he broke his nose a few years ago, that's also put into the equation.
Colby bravely settles in for the night with 27 electrodes on his head, body and throat, which then feed data into a computer monitored by the doctors. After six hours of shuteye, the doctor tells Colby his rest was missing something. "You actually didn't get into deep sleep, or what we call stage three sleep, which is the most refreshing 'wake up and feel great' sleep," Dr. Breus explains. He says Colby woke up more than 20 times during the night, but overall the news is good. "You had absolutely no apneic events, your oxygen levels stayed quite high," the doctor explains. "Your breathing levels looked great across the night. But you do snore -- quite a bit," he says.
Colby accepts the diagnosis and says he's happy with the results. "I'm very, very relieved," Colby says. "I don't have sleep apnea, which I was really concerned about. I'm a little concerned that I'm not getting any deep sleep. That bothers me."
Rachael admits that she also tosses and turns all night long, and wonders how this is affecting their health. "When quality sleep is diminished," Dr. Breus explains, "your alertness level can reduce by as much as 32 percent." For Colby, not falling into a deep sleep and then waking up frequently also poses other health risks, including affecting his immune system and causing mood swings.
Dr. Breus suggests that Colby's condition is related to his broken nose and suggests he be evaluated for a surgical procedure, which Colby welcomes. "If surgery would help me alleviate the snoring and get better sleep I'm all for it," Colby says. Rachael wants to keep tabs on how her buddy is progressing. "Colby will you let us be a part of the process from here?" she asks, to which he offers one enthusiastic response. "Let's do it!"
He adds, this is a surgery his "roommate" would support. "My dog is ready for me to go."
Breus says that's a common sentiment, as snoring challenges both sleep and relationships. "I can honestly tell you I've saved more marriages as a sleep specialist than I ever would have as a marital therapist," he says. "Seriously."
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