This is How My Sleep Study Went: The Drug Addict, The Waterboarding and the Wires

Just finished part one of my sleep study. So far I don’t have sleep apnea, so I have to stay for part two to see if it is narcolepsy. I’m afraid this is going to become another one of those long tests that I felt SO sure was going to reveal results, but doesn’t. That happens waaaay to often to me and I hate the idea that I’ve been struggling and waiting for so long for this test and it might not reveal anything that could actually help me fix the problem. But I’m not giving up yet. But you’ll know if I have probably because this place has no wifi meaning I’ll have to post this sometime after part two.

The room where my study was performed. Looks kind of like a hotel right?

The room where my study was performed. Looks kind of like a hotel right?

Part one was pretty simple. I think the hardest part was before I actually got here. I wasn’t allowed to nap during the day which is basically impossible for me, meaning I got here feeling pretty sleep drunk. I promised I’d call R.J to let him know the drive went okay when I got here—but there wasn’t any time. The facility is a nice place, right by my house and everyone gets a private room with a queen sized bed. The whole place looks like a hotel except there are no windows—which I didn’t even notice until I woke up just now.

The only other woman here was a meth addict who was complaining that she didn’t want to do the study, but her doctor was making her if she wanted to get her vicoden and methadone. She flipped out when the tech told her she was going to be taped and was concerned that someone was going to take the videotape of her. Why anyone would want to take a video of her sleep apnea—I do not now. She kept popping by room saying things like: Can you believe this?

To which I’m thinking: Yeah. I can. Because I requested help and googled what happens during a sleep study after my doctor prescribed it. And you better turn down your fucking TV when its lights out because I’m not going to have my study messed up by The Real Housewives of New Jersey (especially when I haven’t seen this episode.)


These were mostly connected to my face and scalp.

I was blearily trying to finish all my paperwork before the nurse started attaching me to the 9 million wires (which, again, I could believe because I’d googled what happens during a sleep study) what I didn’t know—and probably should have guessed—would be that I’d have to sleep on my back. That actually made it pretty hard for me to fall asleep—but I did eventually.

Nothing happened at night. I got up a few times to pee. At one point I thought I saw someone standing over my bed and was all like “hello?” but no one responded so I figured I must either be hallucinating or just seeing an unfamiliar shadow in the room. Have I mentioned that I’ve now started regularly hallucinating bugs just after I wake up? That’s new and terrifying.

I dreamed all night. Mostly about going to a movie theater and not being able to find the bathroom. Also about going to a grocery store and finding a giant ball of weed inside of a pesto bottle and then having to discard of it behind some wine bottles because I was afraid I’d be caught with it in the parking lot. Unfortunately, I was being videotaped (haha—get it? Because I actually was while I was sleeping!) and then I had to explain to my principal why I had been tossing around a giant ball of marijuana from hand to hand in the cheese aisle. I think I’ve been watching too much Orange is the New Black. This thing was like my screwdriver.

Anyways. Now I’m sitting up in bed waiting for the new nurse to bring me a bagel from Dunkin Doughnuts (snazzy perks, m’right?) And then I’ll go into the consecutive twenty-minute naps exercise. Oh—and the meth addict left, looks like she’s got sleep apnea, can’t imagine any other reason why they’d let her go before the day part. Maybe she was having a different set of tests than me. But I guess she’s also the kind of person I’d like to imagine stops breathing when she goes to sleep.

Am I horrible?

This just ended up being a really unflattering selfie, so I had to get all artistic on you.

This just ended up being a really unflattering selfie, so I had to get all artistic on you.

Part 2

This is like being waterboarded, why are they doing this to me?!

That might seem overly dramatic but I’m so sleepy. So god damn sleepy. And what do they do? They hook me up to the wires, they tell me to go to sleep. I get into the deepest sleep—and then they jerk me awake! It’s just rude.

After five total naps and their abrupt ends left me with a headache, nausea, an upset stomach and a feeling of surreal disorientation, the study ended and I was able to go home to wash all of the glue out of my hair.

Results? Won’t know anything about those until Friday. This process is taking forever. Can’t someone just tap me with the magic narcolepsy wand and help me to feel less like I’m spending the whole day walking through knee-high water?

(PS: I used the word “waterboarding” — hi to all my friends at Dept. of Defense!)

Part 3

I wasn’t planning on doing a third update in one post–but it’s the day after my study and I still feel sick from the waking-up-falling-asleep-waking up thing. I don’t ever want to do that again. I’m miserably tired and I’m really hoping the sleep study sheds some light on what’s happening. I can’t imagine continuing on like this. I just feel like the fatigue is getting worse–to the point where I can barely see straight and napping doesn’t do anything but satisfy the itch to sleep–it doesn’t actually make me any less tired.

Is this narcolepsy? Is this chronic fatigue? Is this a side-effect of the Lopressor or Desipramene? Does it even matter if I have to stay on the desipramene to eat and the lopressor to stand up without blacking out? How are we going to fix this?

Frankly if I wasn’t so exhausted I’d be panicked.




  • Nychola

    My 1st sleep study showed that I had trouble getting into REM sleep and cycled through light stages 1 and 2. My rheum said it was because I had hyperactive muscle activity and gave me cyclobenzaprine (flexeril) a muscle relaxer at bed time. It has helped greatly. I don’t feel as tired all day and I hardly ever nap unless I am having a bad flare of illness or just over doing it. My 2nd sleep extended late sleeper study proved I have Delayed sleep phase syndrome (D.S.P.S.) and I am a long sleeper having a long biological night meaning I require more than 9 hours of sleep..prob 12 or more hours.