A blog from an anti-consumerism consumer psychologist.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Sleep study" is an oxymoron

I suffer from insomnia. Most nights, I'll wake up 4 or 5 times in the middle of the night. A few weeks ago, I decided that it was time to fight back against my insomnia - so I booked in to see a sleep doctor who will hopefully give me back my sleep. As suspected, he booked me in to do a 'sleep study'. And that's where I was last night.

So here is what a sleep study involves (for those of you who haven't had the pleasure). You arrive at the sleep hospital in which the rooms are disguised to look like very small hotel rooms. Don't be fooled. The experience is far far from that of sleeping in a hotal. After getting into whatever you sleep in, you are taken into a room to do a lung test. You blow into a big plastic mouthpiece and suck back gas a few times (not sure what kind of gas it was...). But the lung test is the least offensive part of the ordreal.

The next step is hooking you up to 20 million different cords (I exagerate, it was probably about 25 - which is still a sh*t load). They stick these cords all over your head and body, which then get hooked up to a machine. And then (as if that's not uncomfortable enough) they stick tubes up your nose. Fun.

The guy that hooked you up to all the cords then turns off the light and says 'time to sleep!' Yeah right. "YOU try sleeping with things shoved up your nose and cords coming off every part of your body" I felt like saying. But anyway, I tried to sleep. And I think I may have got about half an hours worth before I looked at my watch and it was 1am. I could hear the woman in the room next to me snoring, which really pissed me off - it was like she was just rubbing it in - "Look at me! I'm asleep!" Meanwhile, I'm lying there awake and trying to figure out whether I had actually slept and whether I would get any sleep before 5.30am (wake up time). And I was stressing out, because if you don't sleep, they can't take your sleep measurements (or whatever it is those cords do) and then I'd have to come back and have more stuff shoved in my nose.

I think I finally got an hour or two of sleep (or at least enough for them to measure me). The technician guy then came in at 6am (he let me have a little bit of a sleep in - lucky me) and unhooked me (which is like being waxed - those cords are stuck on with very sticky stuff so they don't come off if you toss and turn in your 'sleep'). And now I look like I have hickies everywhere from the red marks that the sticky stuff left. AND I have two globs of glue in my hair from where cords had to be stuck to access the back of my brain (or something like that).

And finally, before leaving, you have to fill in a sleep questionnaire which asks you whether you slept 'worse', 'the same' or 'better' than usual. Who on earth would sleep BETTER when they are covered in cords, have tubes up each nostral and are attached to a machine, and are being watched by someone in the next room?! I ticked 'worse'.

If I can get through the entire day without falling asleep at my desk it will be a miracle.


Blogger Pete Majarich said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:36 PM

Blogger kittykabuki said...

Nasty.....although, suffering from insomnia myself and having contemplated the same thing, I am now thoroughly depressed...

10:38 PM

Blogger Daniel Dasey said...

Word on the street had it that this was a good post. And it is. Didn't know you were having such trouble sleeping! I know I feel awful when I haven't had enough sleep. I hope the results yield some answers...

11:10 PM

Blogger David Conroy said...

Snoring. Try a 10 bed dorm of men. All drunk. It was like Symphony of Snoring. You have the low constant gurgle, the whistler, and my favorite the guy how sort of snorts himself awake every 10 mins. All that was missing was a conductor. But i hear your pain there really isn't anything worse than not getting enough sleep.

6:41 AM

Blogger luke said...

try switching to De-Caf.

6:39 PM

Blogger Amanthaville said...

Thanks Luke. You should be a sleep doctor.

4:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

5:30 PM


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