I have always thought that I go to sleep in one position ( on my side) and wake up in exactly the same spot the next morning, but my night at the Sleep Center was definitely not that way. I still believe I don’t move when sleeping at home, but I know for a fact I danced all over that bed!
I was a bit nervous, but the nurse who was in charge of my case was wonderful. He was very professional, but had a sense of humor, and I relaxed before very long. I was surprised at that my room was similar to that of a hotel (with the exception of the monitoring devices on the side table!). There was a recliner, full bath, and a full size bed. A TV (with cable) was there with a remote, so I was set. The bed linens were not 1000 thread count like I am used to, but I could handle that one issue.:) I was allowed to have my phone, so I called my husband to make sure he was watching “Lost Girl“. I called my mother to tell her to turn into the Hallmark Channel as they were showing a movie based on the Janette Oke novels of which she is a fan. I read 2 of my most recent writers magazines and then continued the Stephanie Laurens romance novel I am currently reading (The Reckless Bride). So, I had every convenience available to me to make my stay as enjoyable as possible.
For anyone interested, here is the actual sleep study process, so if you ever have to do it, you’ll have a general idea of what may take place:
I had to have at least 6 1/2 hours of sleep for the study for insurance purposes, so I had to be hooked up and try to g0 to bed by 11:30, in order to be finished in time for the staff to clock out at 7:00 a.m. Here is what the nurse had to do to get me prepped for the night’s study:
- He had to attach SEVERAL electrodes to my scalp using a thick paste-like substance.
- He placed electrodes beside my eyes and jaw. A strap was wrapped around my waist, and another around my chest ( it was wrapped over my gown, and not touching my skin.
- When I got in the bed, he had to attach an electrode to each of my shins.
- Then all of these b’zillion wires were attached to the monitor, and we were in business!
- He left the room and called back with instructions of things I needed to do to make sure the equipment was reading my movements (blinking, lifting a leg, holding my breath, looking to the left, right, up, and down, etc.)
- Then he said “Good night!” and the show began (you are on camera, even in the dark, so your movements during the night can be evaluated
Of course I couldn’t go right to sleep, so I drummed my fingers and wiggled my feet in boredom, with my eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling in the dark. I checked my phone a few times to see what time it was, too. I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable on a strange bed. I have memory foam on my bed at home and it is perfect, This was very not perfect. I did take my own pillow, and that helped some. I was very aware of not wanting to move too far, because I didn’t know if my head would pull back due to being connected by wires (wasn’t sure how much leeway I had – kind of like when a chained dog wants to chase something and it runs out of chain and it is jerked back- THAT’S what I wanted to avoid!) After an hour or more I dozed off for an hour or two and awoke to check my phone for time, and went back to sleep. Dozed and woke again. Slept and woke at 5:30. I buzzed the intercom and told them I was ready. The nurse said he needed 15 more minutes to make the needed amount of time and then he’d be down to unhook all the wires.
Soon I was unhooked, and happily on my way out the door, with lumps of paste all over my head. I came home and shampooed my hair, and the goonk rinsed out easily.
Now, I will wait to return this Friday for another night of the study. I don’t know for sure, but am assuming this time it may be with the head-gear (CPAP machine), or maybe just more of the same to be sure of the diagnosis of sleep apnea (which nurse said only a doctor can say for sure, but based on what he saw and his experience, I probably will have it). So, if I do get the label, I’ll get to wear head-gear straight out of “Top Gun” or some villanous costume from the movies!
My bottom line message for this post is: Don’t sweat it if you need to have this done!! It was no big deal! I’m sure the rapport between my nurse and myself helped tremendously, but even if he was a jerk, the process is painless and not anything to fret over.
I hope everyone has a good week. I’ll check back with you on Saturday, and let you know the end result to this sleep study! Take care!