Don’t tell your Doctor you can’t sleep….

Can’t sleep? Wake up often? Tired all the time? Roll around all night? You might need a sleep study test. If you ever had one then you will surly relate to what I am about to write.

My Doctor ordered me a sleep study test. Now mind you, I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like since I had talked to people who had one and I did some research and looked at pictures of everything they hook up to you. Belive me, no matter how much you know ahead of time, you have no idea.

I arrived promptly at 8pm and was greeted by Tony. A very nice young man who informed me he had been doing these sleep study tests for 16 years. That made me feel better. Lots of experience so I could not be in better hands.
He took me to the elevator and up to the next level where we wandered down a long hallway to “Sleep Room 1”..


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I knew there would be a lot of wires hooked to my head but had no idea it was that many. A sticky glue like substance with a tiny piece of gauze went on each spot first, then the wires. There had to be 20 of them on my head alone. Maybe not that many but it seemed like it. Then on my face also. Forehead, next to my eyes, next to my mouth and my chin – I think.

I had brought all my paperwork that I had spent a lot of time filling out. I think there were 4 or 5 pages of stuff. He never looked at any of it. I mentioned a mistake I made on one page and he said no worries .. we don’t pay much attention to that anyway. Well, ok then.
After Tony was done with his questions he told me to go ahead and put on my sleeping clothes and crack the door when I was done.

It was a very nice room. I would have thought that being in a hospital I would find a typical hospital room with a hospital bed. But no…. A nice big double bed as normal as in any home. Carpet on the floor too. I was seated in a nice reclining chair while Tony asked me several questions about my sleep.

When he came back in he began to hook everything up. Very friendly and talkative, we had a nice conversation during all of this procedure.

I got a detailed explanation of what each of them were for. Seems they monitor your brain some how. The once next to your eyes monitor eye twitches or something. Still not positive about most of it. Next to your mouth looks for grinding teeth and something else. I forgot what the jaw one was for. Must not have been important.

I knew there would be a lot of wires hooked to my head but had no idea it was that many. A sticky glue like substance with a tiny piece of gauze went on each spot first, then the wires. There had to be 20 of them on my head alone. Maybe not that many but it seemed like it. Then on my face also. Forehead, next to my eyes, next to my mouth and my chin – I think.

While we visited he explained how the study would go. Seems I would have a camera on me all night. Oh that would help me sleep better.. NOT. There was also an intercom so I could just say “Hey Tony, I need to go to the bathroom.” Then, he would come in and unhook a couple things, give me a big square monitor deal that all the things from my head were hooked to and I could go to the bathroom while dragging and carrying all these goodies.


He let me know that he would wake me up about 5AM and I would be on my way home by 6AM. Seemed awful early to me but I would later realize –No, no it wasn’t.

Next came the patches on my chest and some on the calves of my legs. I had assumed it would be like an EKG with many – but nope.. Just two on my chest. Tony said it was like looking thru a toilet paper roll. You only saw a specific, small area. Some of his explanations were a little hard to grasp.

Lastly was two different things up my nose. WHAT? I did not remember that from my research of photos. Well dang.. that was aggravating and I let Tony know that. Gezz it seemed a bit hard to breath with all that in my nose. If your on oxygen you would have 3 things up your nose. Imagine my OMG face with that thought.

Ok .. everything hooked up and into bed, which was a little difficult to say the least. Especially those wires running down to the calf of each leg. Lights out.

I have no idea how long I laid there waiting for sleep. I did my best to get comfy and tried to ignore all the wires and cords. I had not slept much the night before and I was truly tired. But, sleep would not come. I tried my favorite trick that worked well at home (usually) and that was to do a slow count backwards from 100. Normally about 80 was good but when I got to 50 I was still wide awake.


More aggravating was there was no clock in the room. I liked to know what time it was. Well then. “Hey Tony, What time is it?” The intercom was not the best and a muffled voice came back with “it’s 11:15.” Good grief, had I been laying there for two hours already.

Finally I must have drifted off but not for long as my bladder told me to talk to Tony again. And the stuff up my nose was really getting on my nerves. After the unhooking and dragging and carrying across the room to the bathroom, I was once again all hooked up, back in bed and lights off.

I don’t know if I ever got any “actual sleep.” At one point I woke up and laid there for a long time – very uncomfortable. I was starting to get aggravated.

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I must have been rolling around enough something came unhooked and Tony appeared. As he hooked me back up I asked the time. 3:30am. Good grief, I was sure it was much closer to 5am which I was looking more forward to with each passing bathroom run. I can’t remember ever having to go to the bathroom so many times in one night.

Tony said – “just an hour and a half to go.” But I was more happy that he said we could remove one of the things up my nose.

I am positive I never went back to sleep and I really tried because I was very tired.

At 4:45 Tony appeared again and said I could get up now. YEA..


He began unhooking things and informed me he would not be pulling the glue out of my hair as he did not want to pull hair out. He said it was water soluble and I could wash it out at home.. Ok..
After he finished unhooking everything he told me I could get dressed and he would walk me down to the lobby where my husband would be waiting for me.

I paraded down the halls with sticky glue all over my head and was glad to see my husband waiting there for me.

This sleep study was in the hospital. This hospital is about 60 miles from home. It only made sense for hubby to spend the night but he insisted he would camp in the back of the Suburban. I had tried to convince him to get a motel room but nope. He and the two little dogs would do just fine in the suburban he said.. He had a nice mattress pad, his pillow and sleeping bag. I guess he forgot that he is 72 years old and camping is probably not near as fun and easy as it was 15 or so years ago..

I think hubby got more sleep than I did thou. We made the 60 mile drive back and we both hit the bed as soon as we got home, glue all over my head and all.

And for the record: Tony informed me that he saw no signs of sleep apnea. But, he added, the results would go to a “sleep” doctor who would read it and make the final determination. Then, that “sleep” doctor would contact my doctor with the results who would contact me to tell me what Tony just told me (rolling my eyes.) Tony was correct. No sleep apnea. You almost wish you had it after going thru all of that. Ca-Ching for the hospital. Ca-Ching for the sleep study. Ca-Ching for the “sleep” doctor to read it.

Oh well, a miserable night away from home and several thousand dollars later – I now know I do not have sleep apnea..


Have you had a sleep study? Would love to hear your comments


Linda Carlson – Certified Nutrition & Wellness Counselor (retired) with 25+ years background.


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One thought on “Don’t tell your Doctor you can’t sleep….

  1. Hahaha omg this was sooo funny. Well, not funny you had to go through something like this. Sorry the study had no real results. Still laughing about hubby and dogs camping in the car outside hospital!

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