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Tales From A 20 Hour Sleep Study

Posted by on December 19, 2012

I’d like to tell you about my sleep study! But with Instagram and the rest of the Internet changing their privacy policies left,right and centre, I’m gonna wake up one day and find that someone printed this blog and made it into a best-seller. (HA!). Speaking of this blog being a best seller, before I go onto my actual point, this would be a great time to tell you about an enlightening conversation I had with my Mom yesterday.

Me: Mom, so now that I subscribed you to my blog by force do you read it?

Mom: Yeah, now that I have to. Ha ha.

Me: Annnnd….?! Do you like it?

Mom: Um. Besides the fact that I don’t even get the whole idea of blogging…I guess. It’s like if someone said, ‘I don’t like dogs. But if I did, I would think Chester is cute’.

(It’s important to note that my Mom does indeed like dogs, and thinks that her dog, Chester, is the cutest. So I think she likes the blog!)

Okay….How did we get here? Mom…bestseller…privacy. Aha!

Now, back to the sleep study. I’ve put off blogging about this for a week as I’ve been wrestling with the idea of privacy and publishing my medical issues. And so, I’d like to share with you the process of my study but not my diagnosis. Because you are my internet friends, and not my Mom (She’s probably out walking Chester).

And so, I present….

Tales From A 20 Hour Sleep Study

By now, I think we’re all well aware of my sleep problems, paranoia of failing sleep tests and my serious appreciation for my diagram-drawing Dr.

Last week, I had a 20 Hour follow up study. I basically had three main fears: that I would be cold, that I would get hungry and not have enough snacks, and that I would fail the test. The fact that strangers would wire me up with electrodes and watch me sleep was nothing compared with the idea of running out of pretzels.

So off I went, armed with extra clothes, four books, snacks and meals, and a determination to Be Awesome At Sleeping.

After eating supper at home and visiting neighbours who also fed me supper, hot chocolate and dessert, I felt ready to go. I grabbed my bags, talked Varun’s ear off, and was dropped off at the clinic at 7:45 pm.

A very friendly technician from Bangladesh showed me to my room, handed me scrubs and asked me to wait about 2 hours until he came back.

Luckily for me, I had reading to do for work. Two uninterrupted hours reading in a quiet room? Alllll right!

This picture is important as it proves I did look normal at some point during the study.

Before getting me all hooked up, I had to fill out a questionnaire about my previous night’s sleep (8 hours), naps during the day (none) and caffeine intake (none) (these Sleep Dr’s and their caffeine questions!).

At about 10:30, my technician came to wire me up. He measured my head, marked me with a red crayon and proceeded to attach over 24 electrodes to my legs, chest, skull and face. Medical tape and wires were everywhere. There was an obscene amount of goop involved: my hair is still greased into place.

Well, that’s settled. With this picture on the WWW, I’m never running for public office.

As if the electrodes aren’t enough, they give you chest straps, a finger pulse monitor and a giant box to gather all the data.

I’m like an astronaut…or, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

Next came sleepy time. The technician literally helped me into bed and pulls the blankets up. And then they expect me to sleep naturally and sit up in my sleep. HA!

Besides having an oxygen tube up my nose, the worst part was that it was indeed too cold. And despite having a video camera and a microphone in the room, Sleep Amelia was too lazy to ask the watching technician for a blanket.

Morning came bright and early: I love South Asian accents, but when they’re accompanied by banging on my door at 6 AM…not so awesome.

Winter coat + scrubs + electrodes= sleep clinic chic

I spent the day doing work, and sleeping while observed every two hours. At 8 am, 10 am, noon and 2 pm I was taken back to my room, tucked in, and was asked to nap for 20-30 minutes. Around 4 pm I had a consultation with the Doctor.

Overall, he told me that I’m healthy and generally sleep well. He gave me some helpful tips and guidelines for better sleep and a healthier life. And yes, I asked him if I could drink caffeine again. His response? “Life is too short to not drink caffeine”. HUZZAH! Bring on the chai!

3 Responses to Tales From A 20 Hour Sleep Study

  1. miranda

    Nice mug. I mean that both ways. Ha! Congratulations on your new-found freedom! Just in time for India!

  2. Eeleah

    Wow… That is quite the journey!! That’s good news tho… Now u can sleep soundly.. Haha

  3. Jill

    Wait, what are some of the tips and guidelines? So curious! đŸ™‚

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!