Recent Splats according to Miz Yank

The Not-So-Young and the Restless

[Part II of II…]

I showed up at the lab at 8:45 on the night of my sleep study, just as instructed.

For some reason I felt a little nervous. Maybe I feared that my horrific sleep habits would miraculously self-correct for just one night, like a car that spews smoke all the way home but refuses to emit the tiniest puff when you take it into the shop.

A bunch of other sleep study victims sat in the lobby.  I wandered over and joined the clump of full-grown adults clutching their pillows.   At 9 p.m. a technician escorted us to the second floor and a suite of three rooms.  She pointed me toward the second room and opened the door.

I hadn’t given much thought to what my sleeping quarters would look like.  I just assumed they would involve a standard-issue hospital bed and maybe one of those one-way windows police use to watch interrogations.

I was surprised to walk in and find a queen-size bed with attractive linens and a large bathroom with complimentary toiletries.  It looked like an above average hotel, only instead of buying the “bed and breakfast” deal, I’d sprung for the “wires up your nose” package.

After I changed into my pajamas—plaid boxers and a ratty T-shirt—a different technician came in to do prep work.  He began by taking gauze, applying some sort of citrus-scented cream to it, and wiping it on my face.  I felt like I was being dusted with Pledge.

My sleep study uniform. Between these PJs and my snoring, it’s totally weird that I’m single.

He put some on my scalp, too, and then started attaching electrodes to me.

This part of the process takes a while so we had time to chat.  He asked what led me to come to the lab, and I mentioned my friend’s concern for my long-term health, among other reasons.

He nodded and said, “Your friend is right, you know.”

“Oh?”

He went on to describe an article he’d read about a two-week sleep deprivation experiment that had been conducted on rats.  The researchers divided the rats into two groups.  One group of rats could eat, drink and sleep as they pleased.  The other group was given food and water, but any time those rats started to nod off, they got a jolt of electrical stimulation to keep them awake.

“What happened to the sleep-deprived rats after two weeks?” I asked, expecting him to tell me they showed a tendency to nod off during meetings and while driving.

“They died,” he said, guaranteeing that my sleep study results would show that I’d had at least one nightmare.

By this time he had attached so many electrodes to my face that I felt like a teenager in one of those 1970s-era acne commercials, only those teenagers didn’t have wires coming out of their zits.

The technician attached another set of electrodes to my legs and inserted two sets of wires up my nose.  Then, after putting a red lighted thing on my finger that made me look like E.T., he turned out the lights and left.

Within moments, his voice entered my room through an intercom.  I didn’t even realize I’d phoned home.

“Can you hear me?” he asked.

“Yep,” I said.

“Okay, great. Now I want you to open your eyes and blink five times.”  I obeyed. “Now look left and right three times.”  I did as instructed.  Then he told me to clear my throat three times, wiggle my left foot, and then wiggle my right.

After two more rounds of the hokey pokey, he told me to go ahead and conk out.

In a state of such natural repose, sleep took a mere 45 minutes to arrive instead of the usual 90. After that, though, my insomnia really came through in the clutch.

It woke me up about two hours into my sleep, and then it fired up the hamster wheel in my brain, which spent the next hour and a half cycling through a series of crucial, gotta-think-this-now thoughts, such as, “Have they figured out where the word ‘twerk’ came from?”

At some point I fell back to sleep, but any danger of staying there was eliminated when I kicked off an electrode and the technician had to intervene.

At 4:40 a.m., I had done all the sleeping I was gonna do.  But like a little kid, I had to stay in my room until he told me to come out because he had to officially end the study.

I didn’t realize these things had closing ceremonies.

We extinguished the proverbial torch by playing the hokey pokey one last time.

By 5:30 a.m., I was back home, ready to take on the day, and a very big nap. I’m less excited about taking on the study results.  I’m scheduled to face the music, or maybe the mask, on October 3…Anyone want to start an over/under?

Comments

  1. Well…I hope your results are conclusive…

    BTW – apt description of the whole process.

    I asked a tech once, (yes Ive done more than one of these), how they expect us to sleep normally with all the wires attached…his reply, (how come I never get a good looking sleep study tech??? Oh yeah, they are out on dates at night…), we are trying to make you sleep poorly…

    My thought was Huh? How is that supposed to reflect my sleep at home.

    Alas mine is so poor that one of those dead rats, (Pinky or the Brain), could have easily deduced I had sleep apnea…

    Awaiting Part 3 with high hopes that Hannibal Pig clan does not increase.

    • I hear you, TS! I didn’t really need help having an abysmal night of sleep, either. (Nor was my male sleep tech someone I’d have considered sharing my night of non-sleep with (no doubt he’d say the same about me!)) We shall see…

    • Oh, and I must add this observation about my sleep habits from another so-called friend: “I wasn’t afraid that Karen’s snoring was so disruptive the apnea might harm her. I was afraid her snoring was so disruptive I might harm her.” I have the best friends. Truly.

    • Miz yank, the chair is against the wall. John has a long mustache.

  2. Insomnomaniac says:

    Isn’t it obvious? Just get the CPAP model with the studded leather straps and the leather mask casing. And keep a riding crop handy. You won’t have any problems finding fun bedfellows!

  3. Wonderful piece Miz Yank! I read it in the midst of agonising over whether or not to ‘sleep train’ my 6 month old. You’ve helped me figure it out :-)) I hope the outcome of this little sleep experiment results in some blissful zzzs for you down the line. See you soon. SG x

    • Why thank you, SG! I especially appreciate your comment because it gives me one more thing to blame my parents for: failure to sleep train. I was starting to run out of stuff to talk about in therapy.

  4. On the other hand, it sounds like your sleep issues were on full display for them!
    (Maybe they’ll give you a tshirt – I went to a sleep study and all I got was to stay up. All. Damn. Night.)

    Just wondering – can you get up to go to the bathroom with all the wires?

    • Full display and full audio, I’m afraid! The T-shirt is comedic gold, my friend. Apparently you can get up to go to the bathroom, but you can’t just go rocketing out of bed, you gotta phone home first and make sure the mother ship doesn’t mind.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Leave a Comment A huge “thanks” to all you kind readers who’ve asked about the sleep study results. I’ll soon be sharing those here, but first, I have to cover an important news story […]

  2. […] 7, 2013 By miz yank Leave a Comment I apologize for the delay in reporting the results of my sleep study.  Several people noticed that my October 3rd appointment date had come and gone and they started […]

  3. […] doesn’t mind my snoring and thinks my nose stickers are […]