Sleep Study: Part 1

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…


My meaning of tired

I’ve been struggling a little bit lately with a feeling that people don’t understand what I mean when I say “I’m tired”. So I’m going to attempt to explain what it is I feel.

My “awake” time
You know that feeling when you can barely keep your eyes open because you’re so tired? Or when you’ve had a few late nights and get to Sunday afternoon and just have to have that nap?
That’s me when I’m “awake”. It’s not always quite this bad, but at least half of my day is with that feeling.

So if that’s me awake…what is my “tired”? This one is a bit harder to describe, but I’ll give it a go…

My “tired” time
This is more the feeling you would get if you’ve pulled an all-niter, had a full day in the office where you’ve had to sit through numerous meetings and remember a whole list of facts and figures, then gone and run a marathon. Your body aches, your mind is mush, you can’t process anything that is going on around you, you feel dizzy and downright exhausted. You get so anxious that if you don’t go to sleep right now you’re pretty sure you’ll start to cry.
This is me when I’m tired. This usually hits me at about 9pm.

So if I say I’m tired, or if I bail early on a party (if I get to it at all), or if I suddenly shut off halfway through a rehearsal or dinner…this is why. This is how I feel.