Last night I went to the sleep clinic. It turned out that this was a “diagnostic study” and the hope was that I’d have a normal night of sleep. Nobody was going to intentionally wake me up. I don’t typically have any problems (besides the usual problem) sleeping in strange surroundings, so I didn’t think this was going to be much of an issue.
And then the technician started hooking up my electrodes.
Two on my forehead. One on each temple. One on each side of my face. One on the top of my head, one on the back. One behind each ear. A sensor on each leg. Two on my back to monitor my heart. Something was taped on my neck. Something was taped on my chin. Something was taped on the index finger of my right hand. Tubing was placed in my nose and strapped around my head. A strap containing a wire was secured around my stomach. A strap containing a wire and a microphone was secured around my chest beneath my underarms. Err.
For a long time I tried to sleep on my back out of fear I’d screw up my wires but I simply cannot sleep in that position. Long story short, I finally managed to find some comfortable positions but not without the tech bursting in to rejig my chest strap. I was awake at the time, but it was still pretty traumatic. Even when my body felt technically comfortable, I was still highly aware of all the stuff that was hooked up to me. Especially the electrodes on the side of my face and that damn tubing in my nose – wtf was that even for? It’s not like they were giving me oxygen or something.
I was exhausted when the guy turned my light off and said, “try to go to sleep” but I think the detachment from my usual sleep hygiene routine really messed me up. Ultimately, I exhibited a number of behaviours I don’t have at home that I think confuse the real issue. It took me forever to fall asleep, my heart was absolutely racing, I woke up once with one of those full body twitches and I was awake about a million times throughout the night. If I was supposed to have a normal sleep, the night of sleep I had was the polar opposite.
So I feel depressed about the whole thing. I’m pretty sure we just collected a lot of completely useless data.