*This was actually written during the sleep study, but have only just now gotten around to and been able to post it*
Sleep studies are annoying. Whilst the idea of getting to sleep all day is awesome, the reality isn’t so fun. For starters, at around 8pm I was fitted with wires on my face, head, chest and legs. All these wires were connected to a central box, plugged into the wall. The wires on my legs were to check for restless leg syndrome. The wires on my face and head were to monitor my brain waves, eye movements and any teeth grinding.
Then the tubes and straps were added: the tubes stuck up my nose and around my face, while the straps were secured around my chest and stomach. This was to measure my breathing and to make sure I didn’t stop breathing in my sleep (a sign of sleep apnea).
With around 15-20 wires and tubes and straps secured to me, I was then left to go to sleep. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fall asleep and stay asleep with that many wires attached to you? I’m generally a restless sleeper – constantly tossing and turning. So every time I wanted to roll over, I had to rearrange the wires so I wouldn’t choke myself. This led to an even more disturbed sleep than normal. The upside was I was left to “sleep” until 8am. Considering the fact I generally have to get up at 5.30am, this was a much enjoyed sleep-in.
Having been allowed to sleep longer than I would normally get to, being told at 9.30am that I would now have to have a nap, was surprisingly stressful. Pressure was on to fall asleep! I fell asleep eventually, only to be woken up a few minutes later. This process was to be repeated 3 more times throughout the day. As I’m typing this, I’m about 35min away from my 4th nap of the day. So far I’ve fallen asleep in 2 of the 3 naps.
Spending an entire day with wires attached to my face hasn’t been entirely pleasant. I am so itchy! And I know I’m going to have to leave here and catch public transport home with big, red splodges on my face. Also, being woken up just as you’ve fallen asleep…ANNOYING! Oh and there’s no wi-fi or power points. So my phone is just about dead and could have left my computer at home.
Ok, so my latest round of specialists and appointments revolves around sleep. Yesterday I had my initial consult with a sleep specialist at the Epworth Sleep Centre in East Melbourne. Whilst she doesn’t think I have sleep apnea or narcolepsy, she still wants me to do a 20 hour sleep study.
So, on Monday night I will go in at 7pm so they can start wiring me up. I’ll have wires attached to my head, around my face, on my chest and on my legs. I will also have a bandage around my chest and sensors around my nose and mouth. The purpose of these wires is to measure my brain waves and track movements in my body. The bandage and sensors are to measure my breathing. I will then go to bed at my normal time and nurses in a central control room will monitor the data and watch me sleep until 6am when I will be woken up again. That is the first study.
The second study will be held during the day. They’ll remove some of the wires and monitor how I am during the day whilst just sitting and reading etc and also whilst napping. Across the course of the day I’ll be taken to have 4 x 30min naps. I must say, I’m a little bit excited about a day of reading and napping! Finally, at about 4.30pm I will be sent home. It won’t be until a few weeks later that I will find out if I do have a sleeping disorder.
All of this is fine. The problem I face right now is they’ve asked me to come off my anti-depressants. I’ve been taking the lowest possible dose and I’m not convinced that I have depression (it was diagnosed after about 3 years of me going to the GP every few months, complaining of being tired) so I happily agreed to come off them. Unfortunately, there are side-effects from not taking them that I have to now deal with. So far, these side-effects consist of light-headedness and fatigue (more so than normal).
So right now I can feel the tingling in my fingers and head and I am struggling to keep my eyes open. I’m curious to see how I fare at rehearsal tonight…