Ever Wondered What It’s Like to Be in a Sleep Study? Go Behind the Scenes With This Viral TikTokker

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girl sleeping under a magnify glass

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a part of a sleep study? TikTok creator, Monae Hendrickson, has been documenting her 16-day journey being a research sleep study participant. 

The study is taking place in Australia and while Hendrickson hasn’t given away too many details about the exact study, she explained each participant is following a night shift schedule. This means sleeping during the day and being awake during the night. 

Each of her videos outlines her daily activities during the study. 

Each night, wires are hooked up to her head to track her brain waves and she wears a WHOOP tracker to keep track of her heart rate. 

Her “morning” starts at 5:00 p.m. to the lights being flipped on. Hendrickson shares in her video that she immediately has to pee in a bottle in order to test her melatonin levels. After showering to help remove all the stickers from the wires she and her fellow participants are hooked up to at night, everyone is allowed 10 minutes of outside time. 

“Our perception of time is completely screwed, because there’s no windows in the lab and we only get 10 minutes of outside time per day,” Hendrickson says in her video

It’s now dinner time. This may seem a bit odd since they just woke up, but it’s all because of their night shift sleeping schedule. Hendrickson shows her meal and describes the food as “subpar.” 

Testing begins with 20 minutes of driving on a computer followed by reaction tests. During the actual testing they aren’t allowed to have their phones, but Hendrickson gives a sneak peak by acting out the tasks in her videos. This testing simulation happens seven times a day. 

“This might be the most comical thing we do,” Hendrickson says in a video as she’s walking back and forth in her room. After each test, participants are required to exercise for five minutes, which just consists of them walking back and forth for an overall 35 minutes of walking per day. 

In between the tests, there’s quite a bit of downtime consisting of reading, watching Netflix, and solving Rubix cubes. Hendrickson adds in her video that she’s been stretching every day, but they aren’t allowed to do any activity that can raise their heart rate. 

They also have six snack breaks per day, with commenters wondering what snacks she gets to enjoy. In one video, Hendrickson shows the snacks collection of yogurt, popcorn, berries, cookies, almonds, raisins, and chips. 

In another video, Henrickson highlights the abnormal things that have happened since switching to this night schedule, including hair loss, different acne type, and a decrease in her appetite. On a more positive note, she also explains being surprised by how entertained she’s been considering, how much downtime they have. 

After reading about what it’s like you might be wondering, why would anyone want to participate in a sleep study? Well for Henrickson, it’s due to the pay. In her comments, she said participants get paid $2,500 AUD or the U.S. equivalent of $1,683.54 for their 16-day stay. 

Julia Medina

Julia Medina

Julia is a Staff News Writer for Sleepopolis. From sleep news and education to the latest sleep trends, her goal is to keep you informed about what's going on in the world of sleep, dreams, mattresses, and more. Julia graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in communications and minors in film and sociology. In her free time she loves exploring new cities, relaxing with a good tv show, and getting some good quality sleep.

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