Next to food and water, sleep is one of the most important requirements our bodies need to stay healthy and function properly. Unfortunately, many people do not get the proper sleep their bodies require. Stress, family crisis, traumatic events and medications can all add to sleepless nights.
For people, such as myself, who face long term sleeping problems often labelled Chronic Insomnia, (having trouble falling asleep, not being able to get back to sleep, waking too early or experiencing poor quality of sleep) are referred to a sleep lab. That my dear readers, is where I spent almost 48 hours of my week-end.
Once you are introduced to the
sleep prison guards polysomnographic technologist, who will be monitoring your sleep patterns. You then start the transformation to something like that out of a Frankenstein movie. Probes are applied to your scalp via a vaseline like gope; and to your facial movement areas.
Sensors are also placed around your chest and abdomen. And a blood pressure monitor is attached to your index finger. And an oxygen like tube is was also placed in my nose (though no oxygen is given.. it's used as a sensor to monitor your breathing). This raised my anxiety a bit, as memories of this gadget flooded back during my time in CCU after my accident.
They even applied monitor sensors to my legs.
Fortunately, I was able to be in my own pyjamas... after all the wires and gadgets have been attached you are to sleep, "just like you would at home",
while in the lab area the technicians electronically monitor your brain activities and body systems.
The study will monitor brain and body activity through the four stages of sleep;
Drowsiness, Light Sleep, Deep Sleep and Dream Sleep.
Yes, you are also being visually monitored as you sleep.
Then at 6 AM you are waken up!! and most get to go home. Of course, since my challenge is that my energy level is limited throughout the the day ... I
was held captive had to stay for part of the next day.
Starting at 8:00 am I had to try and stay awake for 40 minutes at a time every 2 hours; while sitting in a chair in a darken room. Did I mention I was awaken at 6 AM? This is repeated FOUR times throughout the day... during the 2 hours between sessions, you are to stay awake reading or writing or just sitting
NO SLEEPING !!!
It will be interesting to learn the results of these sleep tests ... I will meet with my Specialists in about two weeks.
Have you ever undergone a sleep study?
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Staying Asleep? or find you are waking up too early?
What has worked for you?