sleep study concern

I didn’t want to derail another thread, so started this thread for my concern. I sleep on my stomach and fear that I may “make love to” my pillow and bedsheets when I sleep and possibly get an erection. I rarely fall asleep laying on my back. It seems that a sleep study would be embarrassing for me.

Good to know.

I certainly appreciate your concern. It’s widely understood that most doctors have never seen a naked human body before and are utterly unprepared to deal with its more intimate functions. If you get an erection, it’s quite likely they will wake you up just to point and laugh at you; they may even take pictures and post them in the internet with your real name attached.


C’mon, get a grip. Even if you don’t make love to your pillow, you’re probably going to get night wood; most healthy men have numerous spontaneous erections while they sleep. Years ago I wore a nighttime monitor that recorded them; it had two little rings that “hugged” my penis every few seconds to see if it was erect or not.

So there’s two things in that paragraph to point out to you:

  1. Many of their male patients get night wood; you definitely won’t be the first for them. They may even refer you to a urologist if you don’t get night wood.

  2. There are plenty of medical procedures more unnerving than being seen with night wood by a doctor. I’ve had nurses and doctors do all kinds of things with my genitals, some of which involved erections (and others of which involved failure to achieve erections).

If you need a sleep study - or any other medical procedure - do your best to ignore your embarrassment (remind yourself that doctors and nurses have seen it all) and focus on your healthy. Don’t let normal, healthy night wood - or anything else - deter you from seeking treatment for what ails you.

And this thread isn’t?

More seriously, unload the gun before the study, and if you’re worried about falling asleep they’ll slip you a mickey (the prescription kind).

At my sleep study, there was a technician in the next room monitoring my brain activity and vitals, not whether or not I was pitching a tent.
The doctor looked at the data after the fact

That’s what I like to see on SDMB. Straight talk, elf to elf. :smiley:

Seriously, OP. It’s medicine. There may come a day when you’ll be expected to rub one out into a cup. Doctors used to masturbate women to relieve “hysterical tension”. And it’s just medicine.

You could die from embarrassment, if your embarrassment keeps you from a life-saving diagnosis. Get over it.

I wish. I spent most of my sleep study trying to fall asleep and failing. Most frustrating nights ever.

I appreciate the replies but I think I’m more worried about being monitored while humping the bedsheets and making out with the pillow than getting an erection. I literally cannot fall asleep without embracing my pillow like it’s my lover.

Yeah. If your problem is insomnia, they want to see the insomnia, so I wasn’t even allowed to have the usual meds I take. I had to spend a night not sleeping for them to document that I didn’t fall asleep, before they would hook me up for a second night of fun, this time with my usual night meds. I still slept fretfully, but they got some information that allowed them a picture of why I was having trouble sleeping, and asked if I could stay six more hours. Then they gave me some more meds until I passed out, and then they got they brainwaves that confirmed what they suspected: I startle when I go into REM sleep, and it frequently me up. Sometimes I go back to sleep, but I always go back into REM sleep, and other times, I become fully awake.

Knowing that allowed my doctors to experiment with some mixes of medications that weren’t making me pass out, but were actually solving my problem. I had wildly vivid dreams for a few weeks.

I wouldn’t care if the doctors had put funny hats on me and taken pictures, or dipped my hand in water and tried to get me to pee the bed.

And BTW, a tech monitors you while you sleep, not a doctor. The doctor just studies the brainwave charts afterwards. The tech doesn’t actually watch you sleep, she (or he) watches a computer monitor, so unless there is a very distinctive brainwave for “hard-on” I don’t think the tech will know.

I thought they take video? And maybe not watch all the time, but can see you in bed.

There’s a simple solution to this. Make a video of yourself doing the wild thing with the bedding, then post it on the internet. After that you won’t think twice about a sleep tech watching you do it.

Just explain to your doctor (or the sleep study person) that you need to “do something personal” before falling asleep each night. And are wondering if that will be a problem?

You can even request to mention this to a male technician if you want (or female if that would make you feel better).

Anyway I’m sure they could arrange some sort of privacy or whatever for you.

FYI - They could care less about what you are doing - some of these people are part time students and use every spare second for study. And the technicians are BUSY - have better things to do than watch you constantly.

'Splain this some more. Are you talking about serious pelvic thrusting like a housecat fucking a wadded-up blanket? Or just sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs and arms like this?

Are you actually scheduled to have a sleep study, or is this just a random “look at my weirdness” thread? There doesn’t seem to be a question or something you’re actually needing input on, so other than Machine Elf’s excellent post, I don’t know what you need from us.

The folks doing the sleep study are professionals. They “have seen it all before,” and nothing you do is going to shock or amuse them.

In my sleep study, I was festooned with little stick-on electrodes, which were then attached to little wires to monitor my heart, leg muscles, and brain waves. Two breathing sensors were put on my chest, and a little air monitor at my nostrils to see how often I breathed through my nose.

You can wear whatever you want to sleep in, including in the nude.

You can roll over in your sleep without tearing off any of the wires.

There was a night-vision camera on me the whole time.

At the beginning and end of the study, I was instructed to look up at the camera to say I knew I was being recorded.

There were 6 or 8 of us sleeping in separate rooms.

The bed was adjustable from soft to firm in increments, and it would elevate the head or feet if I wanted.

Wow. That would have been nice. Of course, it wouldn’t have replicated home sleeping conditions.

I remember my sleep study as a really grueling experience, but it resulted in some meds, and after a little trial and error, and a couple of months, a combination of meds that works miracles for my insomnia without drugging me into unconsciousness (albeit, I get 15 5mg Ambien a month, and 10 .5mg clonazepam as PRNs, because if something throws my schedule out of whack, I’m worried, or sick, or something, I still need extra help).

Most men have erections multiple times during the night usually during REM sleep. I doubt you would be any different.


There are also at home sleep studies. Not nearly as comprehensive but a lot easier. IIRC, you have a nasal monitor and then a band you wear around your chest.

Not sure why you need the sleep study or if an at home test would be warranted. Talk to your doc

I keep reading the thread title as “Sleep corn study”…wtf kind of weird dyslexia is that?

Then lose the pillow.

FYI you can do a sleep study at home with a machine they send home with you. The results of mine were so bad I had to take the full test to calibrate the machine. it was tough to sleep on my stomach with a full mask on.