Well, THAT was an experience.
As I mentioned before, I was going into hospital last night for a sleep study, to try and get to the root of my chronic tiredness and insomnia. The private hospital was actually really nice, and I had a private room with its own aircon, en suite bathroom, plasma tv and even basic cable. Sweet. The bed however was pretty much a regular, narrow hospital bed and not the most comfortable.
They have 6 beds in the sleep unit ward, and apparently all 6 are in use every night of the year. They would be able to fill more beds if they had the space. In the 21st century people are forgetting how to sleep, it would seem. A very modern malaise.
I sat around and watched tv, had dinner (kinda blech) and then about 8.30 a technician comes in and starts the 20+ minute process of getting me wired up. And boy, was I wired up. Electrodes glued to my scalp through my hair (watch the expensive haircut, m'kay?). 6 or so on my face, including glued onto my jaw through my beard. 2 on my chest. 2 on my legs. An elastic strap around my chest, and another around my lower abdomen. Of course I snuck a couple of crappy camera phone pics of myself looking a science experiment, and I even SMS'd them to a couple of people.
Once an attention whore, always an attention whore.
I was able to wander around like that for a while, and then around 9.30 they came in to hook me up for realz. Once they do that, that's it, no trips out of bed for any reason for you! (ie: a bed pan if you need to 'go', which fortunately I didn't) A heart rate monitor thing clamped and taped onto my finger. Then the crowning glory, a plastic oxygen tube type thing with 2 little nozzles up my nostrils. It makes you a dead ringer for an intensive care patient.
Now I'm a person who can't sleep if conditions are not 100% perfect. Princess & The Pea just about covers it, in fact I bet I could feel that pea through even more mattresses than she did. Amateur. So you can imagine, right? Everything was mildly to highly annoying, but oddly the thing that bugged me the most was the pulse monitor on my finger. It was tight and made my finger throb uncomfortably. In addition rolling over involved a complicated process of moving wires, leads and plastic tubes, and trying not to yank anything off.
Fast forward a couple of sleepless hours and I buzzed for the sedative I was allowed to ask for if I couldn't get to sleep. 2 magic little pink pills later, I did actually fall asleep until the tech woke me at 6am. So, the thing is, it was NOTHING like a regular night's sleep for me. Whatever they gave me knocked me out cold, so I didn't wake up constantly like I normally do, and I took forever to fall asleep where normally I don't have any problem.
Still, hopefully they managed to get something out of the results, and I was sure to make notes on the questionnaire they give you about how the night's sleep compared to your regular sleep. I'll chat about it when I see the sleep specialist again next week. Meanwhile, I've been digging glue (and some hairs) out of my beard all morning, and trying to deal with the skin on my face freaking out from the alcohol swabs and glue. The experience was uncomfortable, but not terrible. Just one I wouldn't want to have to repeat in a hurry.