Monday, November 12, 2012

Sleep Studies Suck

And it's not just cause of alliteration.

I toss and turn like a banshee in the night and I like to be on my side - both things that are made much more difficult when you're attached to 36 wires.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got to the sleep study and waited for about 10 minutes for a sleep tech to take me and the other two gals back to the orientation room. We heard a dude talk about the dangers of sleep apnea and what a sleep test was like and then we were taken back to our individual rooms. My favorite part of it all?

A guy in a hospital bed!


There was a House marathon! And I also had a spinning chair!

They should have known better!

But looking at the shit I was about to be attached to wasn't very exciting.

Those are hanging off my head??

My lab tech came in and glued the metal probes to my head and also attached other sensors to my face, chest, and legs. Then the trick was getting comfortable in bed with all that on...

That never happened. My neck wasn't being able to get enough support because of the pillow situation with all those sensors. I also wasn't able to really get on my side once I had gotten my fill of House. Sleeping in a bed with crap support wasn't so fun either. Needless to say, Friday was not a good neck or back day at all.

I do not have sleep apnea, but they did observe something else called alpha intrusion. Basically, this means that my brain was sending waking waves during stage 4 or REM sleep. While they weren't always intense enough to wake me, they were intense every time to bump me out of REM. This means that I was not getting enough restful sleep - which explains why I slept for 2 hours when I got home... after spending half an hour in the shower and using half a bottle of conditioner to get all that goo out of my hair.

Submit this baby to Playboy!

This alpha intrusion is very common in people with pain and chronic illness. It's a very interesting thing to learn about, as it isn't anything I had ever heard before. I wonder how many of us deal with that?

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