Worst Night of Sleep I’ve Ever Had
I had my sleep study last night, and it was an unmitigated disaster.
First, let me point out the things that were fine. The bed was comfortable, the temperature in the room was appropriate, the noise level was normal for nighttime, and the various wires attached to various parts of my anatomy were much less bothersome than I thought they’d be. The technician was very accommodating and did everything she could to make my experience pleasant. I was able to watch TV, reading in bed, and pick my own lights-out time. If I needed anything, all I had to do was say it and the technician would hear me via the intercom and respond immediately.
When I arrived, I discovered I was to have a split-night study. For the first 2-3 hours, the technician monitors my sleep to determine if I experiences multiple episodes of sleep apnea. If I do, she awakens me and hooks me up to a CPAP for the rest of the night. If I don’t have sleep apnea, she lets me sleep for the duration of the night.
The problems began when the technician told me she would like to get an hour of readings with me on my back. I told her I can’t sleep on my back. I’m a side sleeper and always have been. She said I didn’t have to be asleep. Unfortunately, I was tired, so I wanted to be asleep. There are few things more frustrating than being tired and unable to go to sleep, whether because of insomnia, noise, or discomfort. By the time I decided I’d had enough, I had become physically tense, which for me impedes falling asleep.
It snowballed from there. The longer I lay awake, the more anxious I became. The more anxious I was, the harder it was for me to fall asleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. I tried reading, singing songs in my head, picturing myself on the beach, imagining relaxing with LOML, even playing a game on my phone briefly. Nothing worked. And the whole time, I was aware of the time ticking away. When I did sleep, it was so light that the slightest disturbance roused me, anything from the fan for the ventilation system switching on to my own soft snoring. When the technician came to get me up at 5:50, just the sound of the doorknob turning did it.
While it seemed that I tossed and turned all night, apparently I did have episodes of broken sleep, including one brief episode or REM sleep. I don’t know if I had any apnea. I was so discouraged that I didn’t ask many questions. After my doctor gets the report, she might suggest another try.
In the meantime, I’m beat.