Here's what is going to happen: I show up at 8:30 this evening, with an overnight bag packed "as I would for an overnight stay at a hotel or a friend's house." Beforehand, my hair has to be washed with just shampoo, not conditioner (EEK) and I am not allowed to wear any type of makeup or lotion. (In other words, I will look like a raving frizzy-haired dry-skinned lunatic.) Once I arrive, I will get settled into my comfortable hotel-style accomodations. They will then hook up about a thousand wires to me. According to the helpful pamphlet:
"Next, approximately two dozen sensors which are generally small metal discs (called electrodes) are applied to the skin of your head and body using an adhesive. These sensors monitor... brain waves, muscle movements, eye movements, breathing through your mouth and nose, snoring, heart rate, and leg movements. Flexible elastic belts around your chest and abdomen measure your breathing. A clip on your finger or earlobe monitors the level of oxygen in your blood and your heart rate."
When I wake up in the morning, it is not over. I will be sticking around for the MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test), which consists of a series of naps throughout the day using the same monitoring equipment. A staff of trained technicians in the next room will be monitoring everything about me while I sleep. Hopefully everything will turn out all right! Expect an update tomorrow evening after I return from my adventures in the Sleep Center!
P.S. I am not allowed to drink caffeine before my study begins. Of course, I am having caffeine withdrawal symptoms right now. If I had known, I would have loaded up this morning.