I’m not a great sleeper. I don’t know how anyone ever managed to sleep beside me when I was sharing my bed. I snore, I make frequent trips to the bathroom, and I have wild dreams. I also have restless leg syndrome (RLS) which gets so bad some nights I’m walking the halls in the dark, trying to shake out my twitches. Sometimes I listen to the radio or take a hot bath at midnight. Even the dog wishes I would just go to sleep like she does. I’m trying.
Clearly my night sleep is not giving my body what it needs. I sit down to write in the mornings, and I doze off, my pen leaving a black streak on the page. I read by the fireplace or in the sun, and I doze off. I’m streaming a TV show and wake to find three episodes have gone by.
In college, I slept through most of my astronomy class, much of my art appreciation class, and just about any class where they turned down the lights. I even slept through one of the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Those impromptu naps give me the deepest, most wonderful sleep. But I also get really sleepy driving the car, and that’s not good.
So, tonight I’m having a sleep study. They will see if I have sleep apnea, sudden intermittent cessations of breathing frequently experienced by people who snore. I probably do. It runs in the family. Have I ever awakened myself with my snoring? I have. Not fun. Yes, I know my heart could stop and . . . you’d never read my next book.
They will also look at the RLS and any other weird stuff I do in my sleep. I will be attached to an assortment of sensors. I will have stuff taped to my body and glued in my hair, and the technicians will observe me, monitoring my brain, nervous system and muscle activity, as well as breathing and heart function.
You know that icky feeling when you wake and find someone staring at you? Now my insurance is paying for me to have strangers do that.
I am supposed to arrive without makeup and wearing a COVID mask, put on pajamas, which I don’t usually wear (I’m a nightshirt girl), and go to bed way earlier than usual. Meanwhile Annie, who follows me around all day, is going to panic. Where’s Sue? She never came home.
I’m hoping the “sleep aid” they prescribed knocks me out. But if I’m knocked out with a sleeping pill, how can they get an accurate picture? And how will they know when I’m in the various stages of sleep?
Such questions kept me awake last night. I could fall asleep right now typing at my desk. But the instructions for today say NO NAPS. I also have to limit my caffeine. Come on!
I’m thinking the first thing I’ll want to do when they unstick me and let me go at 6 a.m. is take a nap.
After I apologize to my dog. They should just ask Annie. She knows how I sleep. She spent last night next to my bed. Now she’s sacked out on her bed, running in a dream.
Maybe I’m just part dog.
My neighbor says he got partway through his sleep study, tore everything off, and stormed out, saying “To hell with this.” I don’t plan to do that, but I sure am looking forward to being done with it.
Have you had a sleep study? How was it? Did you get the answers you needed? Would you want to do it again?
Here’s some interesting info from the Mayo Clinic. Did you know the official word for a sleep study is “polysomnography”? There you go.
Send your comments. I’ll be awake.