If you missed part one of the fabulous sleep study, you can find it here.
To continue… I had to be at the lab by 8:30. The sleep study is done with a whole bunch of sensors to test for (duh) any reason you would be a) unable to sleep, b) sleeping too much, or c) sleeping crappily. The drive up was fairly uneventful, my sister’s boat was late, so my parents dropped me off, and went to await my sister.
Whilst she was on her way, I was the first one there, and thus I was the first one to be transformed.
When I say transformed, I mean “a wreck of my former self”. See, the sensors I was referring to are everywhere. First, they use a giant grease pencil to mark exact locations on your scalp for the electrodes. Read: giant lipstick marks on forehead, chin, etc. I pretty much looked like a crash test dummy. Next, they glue and/or tape all these sensors to the marks they just made. Now I’m a crash test dummy mad scientist, as my hair’s sticking out everywhere to make room for the sensors. They even put sensors on my legs, which, much to my chagrin, are currently acquiring their winter coat, although thankfully the tech just laughed and said you had to stay warm somehow (having two small tykes run around means shaving legs is the. last. priority. since if I actually have enough time to do such a thing, I’m probably passed out somewhere drooling, which is a much better waste of my time). So now I’m a furry crash test dummy mad scientist. Then all these electrodes get plugged into a circuit box that hangs around your neck, quite literally a robot control panel. So now I’m a furry crash test dummy mad scientist robot chick. Then they politely leave you in your room, tell you to be careful when standing so you don’t trip over all the wires, and leave with an admonishment to not fall asleep. When they’ve got everyone turned into that Borg thing, they stuff everyone in their beds, do a series of checks to make sure the sensors are all being read properly, hook the box up to the side of the bed after taking it (thankfully) off your body and tell you to go to sleep. Oh, but just before they do that, they put a breathing tube with a microphone next to your nose. Oh the humanities!
Ha! Good luck with that. Between all of the wires and the fact that I had to pee, I didn’t sleep well. I also woke up just before they actually came to wake me up, and proceeded to go to the bathroom to have a conversation with the tech… only to wake up. That’s right, I dreamed about waking up to be woken up to realize that I wasn’t awake at all. Then they got everyone up, told us not to have any caffeine (I died), and off they went. Also, the staff room we were allowed to chill out in had a coffee machine for the staff. It was like a torture chamber. So now I’m a furry crash test dummy mad scientist robot zombie. They did, thankfully, remove the breathing apparatus and leg sensors. Everything else stayed. Did I mention that all those sensors are itchy as hell?
So around 9 o’clock was the first nap test. But before they do that, they (get this!) add more sensors. Lovely. I lay down, I’m tired, and I’m ready to go to sleep.
Cue full on anxiety attack. Whether it was the nerves or the awareness that I was under a set amount of time to fall asleep, I’m not sure, but by the time she came to get me 15 minutes later, my heart was racing, I was shaking, and trying to control my breathing so I didn’t puke.
11 o’clock, same darn thing. (That’s 2 naps I’ve missed), and by this time, I’m tired enough to have gotten a headache. Then we get to do a pee test. How exciting.
1 o’clock. I finally managed to relax myself enough to get sleepy. *BANG* I am startled out of an almost doze. 5 minutes later, *BANG*, once again startled. *THUD* And again… By this point, I am ready to cry, that’s 3 naps I’ve missed, and I have a very large headache brewing, not to mention the annoyance at being almost asleep and having 2 doors and an thud from the floor above to wake me up fully. Did I mention that my adrenaline went for a spike each time? No wonder I didn’t sleep.
3 o’clock. I have just about given up. I am almost on my second wind, and I figure I can just rest. I almost fall asleep, and I realize, to my horror, why I haven’t fallen asleep at all. It’s too quiet. There’s no baby monitor static, there’s no children talking/screaming/running/thumping. There’s no video games playing softly in the background. You know why Moms can’t sleep in silence? Because silence means your little people are up to something sinister. So sinister that you should be alert as an army lieutenant in full gear on a field mission.
I didn’t even finish the test. That’s right, I failed the sleep test. The person who can’t wake up failed the sleep test. Why? Because it was too darn peaceful. I guess they figured that if I hadn’t napped through 4 naps, I wasn’t going to. (I like to think of it more as they tried to assimilate me but I resisted, so they let me go. Star Trek reference for the win!)
I am extremely disappointed because I don’t think they got a very good picture of how many times I do fall asleep at home, but I am hoping that with whatever data they got out of those Borg wires, they can at least assemble something.
And with that, I’m going to spite the triple shot espresso I got on the way home, and go to bed, so I can sleep amidst my husband’s snoring and my monitor static. Because my full 8 hours of sleep last night and 5 possible naps were completely exhausting.