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Interpreting Oximeter results
I did my first night with the oximeter, and it looks about like I expected, which is normal most of the time. But there were 5 times the SpO2 dropped to 88 or below. The typical sawtooth pattern was dominant for about 45 minutes starting at 6am, swinging from a high of 98% to a low of 86 to 91, about every 80 seconds.

My sleeping pulse is only 55, and it would usually rise a little bit as the O2 hit bottom.

Here is a closeup of the 6am section. I know that if you hold your breath completely, the SpO2 level drops slowly, resulting in the sawtooth. So does this indicate I am stopping breathing for 60 seconds at a time, over and over? I am guessing that this only happens part of the night due to postural reasons.


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My opinion: Keep the monitoring up for several days and see if there are consistent patterns. Moving during sleep can dislodge the device which might cause a drop.

Do you use a CPAP? If so can you sync up the records from the CPAP to the oximeter? That would show you if reaction to apnea is a concern.

Other health issues like COPD, or diabetes (poor circulation) may come into play.

So monitor for a week and then take the results to your doctor, if you are concerned.
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Hi Sn00zeAlarm,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your question and help with your graph.
Much success to you.
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No CPAP. I am collecting evidence to see if one would help me, to present to a doctor. I had a full sleep study some years ago and it showed definite apnea events, but only during the latter part of the night and not soon enough to switch to the titration part of the test. The tech said the events started when I rolled onto my back.

I always go to sleep on my side, but often wake up on my back. The various ways to not sleep on my back do not work for me (I've tried them). My wife reports that if I am on my back, I usually snore loudly at which time she pokes me.

I will continue with the oximeter for a week, dumping all the results into SleepyHead so it can generate meaningful statistics. I am not so concerned about convincing Medicare that they should pay for it - I'll buy the machine myself if necessary. But I still need the Rx.
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In my opinion:
-Once you have apnea events you always will. Though side sleeping helps, as you know.
-The study folks should have booked you for a second night for titration.
-Sounds like you are ok for the most part, but it is worse for you during REM sleep, which is where your desats are likely happening (guessing based on the 6am time of your graph)
-You might be one of those borderline cases. Sure it helps, but you only need it for an hour or so a night and for maybe 5 x 10 seconds.
-You can always buy a machine second hand...no Rx needed.

Keep up the recording and let us know how it goes.
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This is a rather small sampling to get a good look - just a bit over 40-odd minutes, and the O2 desaturations don't correspond with a sudden rise in heart rate, so it could also be noise generated by a shift of the fingerling. And that is the problem - using a pulse oximeter alone to self diagnose sleep apnoea is a dangerous game, fraught with problems - yes, these could be desats, but the event at 6:37 could be noise, for instance, as could the 6:17 event. Or not. There is not enough to go on here, and the sampling is to small. By all means take this in to your doc to support your argument, but you would need a full night report and print-out, not base it on that short section. In addition, normal people also desat from time to time per night, the problem is when you do it too often, and for which reason. And that is where we enter SA territory.
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You can also do a home study for a couple hundred dollars and while not as detailed as a full blown study certainly more info than you have now.
I use my PAP machine nightly and I feel great!
Updated: Philips Respironics System One (60 Series)
RemStar BiPAP Auto with Bi-FlexModel 760P -
Rise Time x3 Fixed Bi-Level EPAP 9.0 IPAP 11.5 (cmH2O)
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Any doctor can write the prescription for a CPAP, it does not have to be a sleep doctor. If you have a good relationship with your GP, just talk to him/her about what you are thinking and that you'd like to buy one out of pocket from a reputable online supplier (vs one on the "black market") but you need a prescription. Talk about how you can show him/her the data.
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After 4 days of collecting data:
Avg SpO2 93.87%, Avg pulse 59
Min SpO2 76%, Min pulse 48, Max pulse 93
SpO2 Drop Index 6.6 (not sure what this is)
% Time in drop 5.65%

Desaturation events per night between 8 and 107, average per night 45.
Most noticeable low SpO2 swings seem to correleate with REM sleep
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(05-16-2015, 05:06 PM)Sn00zeAlarm Wrote: ...
Most noticeable low SpO2 swings seem to correleate with REM sleep
I'm curious... if you don't have a way to measure REM sleep, how would you be able to make that correlation?

With a CPAP looking at the data over time you might be able to generally infer when you might be having REM sleep, but without something to monitor the Brain waves, you really don't know for sure and I don't think you can do that reliably with an Oximeter.

Way back when I had my first sleep study, they found in the 3+ hours I was getting 0 REM sleep none. Wouldn't have actually known that if I had not been hooked up.

Current Settings PS 4.0 over 10.6-18.0 (cmH2O) BiLevel Auto
TNET Sleep Resource Pages
CPAP Machine Database
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