Saturday, September 7, 2013

The sleep study

I am always tired. I go to bed at 10 PM, sleep for 8-9 hours, and wake up feeling tired. I yawn all day. On weekends, I take naps. And I constantly feel like I am dragging my feet.

So...over the summer, I decided to visit the sleep doctor. (Yes - there really is such a thing as a sleep doctor!) First he ran some blood work. It all came back normal. Then I changed my diet. And things seemed to get slightly better. But, yet - I was still feeling tired.

I went back and forth with the doctor and he kept encouraging me to do the study. I kept putting it off. The thought of going to sleep somewhere in a strange bed, hooked up to wires, while I was being recorded and observed -  was just plain weird.

But, then as the weeks passed by, I decided that I needed to do it. I mean - I might as well find out why I am so tired. So I should just suck it up.

So I bit the bullet and scheduled the sleep study.

On the night of my study, I arrived at the sleep center at 8:30 PM. They showed me to the room right away. The room itself was nice. It had a double bed, a recliner, a dresser, 2 nightstands, and some lamps. It also had a fan, and a sleep machine. The technician came in and started to hook me up. It took quite a while. There were wires on my legs, on my stomach, on my neck, face and head. When she was done with me, I looked something like this:

Yeah. That is a bit scary - right? What was even more scary, was the fact that I had to actually fall asleep like that. I mean - really? How would that be possible?

This is the box that the wires were plugged into.

The cameras that were in the room. Creepy!!!

After the technician left the room, I read for a bit until I started to get sleepy. By some small miracle - I actually fell asleep around 10:45. I think I woke up around 2 to use the restroom. The problem was that in order to get out of bed, I had to buzz the technician and she had to unplug me. So I hemmed and hawed in my head about if I really needed to use the bathroom. In the end, I did. So she had to come unplug me and I had to waddle off to the bathroom with all those wires on me. As I walked down the hallway, I prayed I wouldn't see anyone else. (That night there were 6 other patients in the sleep  center.)

Once I got back to bed, the technician had to plug me back in. Then it took me about 45 minutes to fall back to sleep. At 6 AM, the technician came in and woke me up and unhooked me. It took about 10 minutes to get all the wires off me.  I filled out the post-survey paperwork and then I was free to go. Phew. I almost ran out of the building, and fought the urge to  yell, "I am free! I am free!"

I find out the results in October. The technician didn't give me much feedback. But she did tell me that the first half of the night, my legs were moving non-stop. What?

Well, if that is the case - no wonder I am always tired.

I am glad that the study is over. I have to admit that if I had know that the sleep study involved all of those wires - I might have wimped out. It's probably best that I didn't know ahead of time.

The irony of the whole sleepy study was that I don't think I have ever slept so well as I did the night after the sleep study. Something as simple as sleeping in my own bed and being wire-free really does wonders.

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