Since I didn't get any nice pics from my outing on Sunday, here are pics from my sleep study I had last Thursday at the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center.
In addition to the overnight study, or polysomnogram, I also had a multiple sleep latency test, or MSLT, the following day. Prior to these tests I kept a sleep diary for 2 weeks in which I recorded what time I went to bed, what time I thought I fell asleep, when I woke up, plus when I took medication, had alcohol or caffeine, and exercised, and when I had any naps during the day.
For the nighttime test I was hooked up to dozens of sensors to record my brainwaves, eye movements, heart rate, muscle tone, airflow, breathing effort, snoring, oxygen saturation, and leg movements.
For the following day's MSLT napping test, some of the sensors were removed, which made it slightly less uncomfortable.
After breakfast at 8 AM I had my first nap at 9. The room was darkened and I got into bed. The tech ran through some baseline tests of eye movements and breathing, then I had to try to relax and fall asleep. Thirty minutes later the test was over and I had to get out of bed, have the blinds opened and lights turned back on, and do wakeful things sitting in a chair. This went on every 2 hours until 5 PM.
I'm fairly certain I slept during 3 or 4 of the 5 naps, and I recall dream fragments from all of them. I felt too awake at 5 to be sleepy. Plus by then I was starting to get pretty annoyed by all the wires on my face and head, which were distracting and made it hard to relax enough to sleep.
After each nap I had to write down whether I thought I slept and how long I thought it took me to fall asleep, and if I had dreams, and what they were about.
The experience was rather disorienting. Just when I was fully waking up from the previous nap, it was time to start the next one. Right when I was finally relaxing enough to be sleeping, it was time to wake up again. I was so glad when all that was over and I could go home.
I won't know the results for a few weeks yet, so in the meantime let's look at some pics I took while I was there.
Here is a peek at the first room they put me in. They had to move me to a different room because the blinds in this one were stuck open, and they have to be able to be lowered to darken the room for the daytime nap tests.
Here's the room I wound up in, due to a last-minute no-show that evening (all the other rooms were occupied).
Here's the shower area in the bathroom.
Here's the afternoon view out the window. I was not allowed to leave the room, being confined there from about 8:30 PM the night before to 5:30 PM that day. I had my laptop with me (free Wi-Fi), and a book to read, and some crossword puzzles. There was a TV in the room but I didn't turn it on.
And for funsies, here's the exam room where I had the consultation with my sleep doc a couple of months ago.
And here's a peculiar poster on the wall in the exam room. It seems to depict some sort of nasal obstruction.