When asked to describe me, my friends and family often use the word “busy.” I’m not really sure what it is that I’m doing that keeps me so “busy,” but I often notice a sneaking tightness in my chest as I’m rushing from drinks meetings to nail appointments to the airport for an impromptu trip. Most people would recognize this as stress and readjust, but I enjoyed my naïveté—that is until I tried an at-home stress and sleep test that left me, well, stressed.
As stress and sleeplessness go hand in hand, I guess it’s not a total surprise that I’m not a great sleeper. I get anywhere from six to seven hours of a sleep a night and it usually takes me an hour to fall asleep. It also doesn’t help that my attention-seeking cat likes to be let in and out an average of five times a night, so an uninterrupted night’s sleep is basically nonexistent in my household. Even though I’m a well-informed person who knows that blue light is bad before sleep, I’ll admit to either reading from an iPad or watching Family Guy before turning out the lights. Retrospectively, maybe I didn’t need an at-home stress and sleep test to tell me that I need to sort out some priorities.
The EverlyWell stress and sleep kit ($249) arrived in the mail in an inconspicuous package that included instructions, a green rubber cup, specimen collection papers, a handy little bag for the specimens and a return envelope. I was surprised to learn that the cup and collection papers were for, ahem, urine collection. (Nope, no 23andMe saliva beakers here.) I would have to collect said bodily fluid four times in one day, record the time of day on the sample’s label and send them off to be tested.
Easy enough, right? Not for this gal. I somehow messed up the collections because, truthfully, I’m usually in too much of a hurry to read directions (counterintuitive, I know). My first round of results were inconclusive because for some reason the lab couldn’t read my collection times, so I had to repeat the process all over again, which—you guessed it—stressed me out and was a little gross.