patients at my sleep clinic want to sleep naked, upgrading business flights and hotel rooms, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I work in a sleep clinic and some patients want to sleep naked

I recently changed careers and now work as a sleep technician for a well-known medical facility. I’m still a student so I only work part-time until I graduate from my program. Technicians are not nurses, unless they have additional, specific training. We are machine operators who happen to work with patients. My job is to attach electrodes to the patient’s body for the purpose of monitoring and recording the body’s electrical signals during sleep. Nudity is not required for me to do my job, which is partially why I chose sleep.

Here’s the issue: some of my patients do not bring/wear pajamas for their sleep studies. You would think it’s common sense to wear pajamas to sleep in, but, apparently, as I am now learning, it’s not. And some patients report, “No one told me to bring PJs.” The biggest issue for me are men (it’s mostly men who do this) who strip down to their tightie-whities or state they sleep naked. In my opinion, this is incredibly inappropriate. Not only is it creepy, unprofessional , and plain weird (seriously, it’s one night away from home), it forces the workers into a situation that could be easily misconstrued. We techs already record all interactions to protect ourselves from erroneous accusations.

As a newbie in a new field, would it be out of line to ask the lab manager if the night crew could have a package of hospital gowns in inventory for patients who don’t have pajamas with them? I don’t want to hurt my chance to move into a full-time position here, but I also can’t hand off every creepy dude to my coworkers. I don’t know if this matters, but the majority of people at my facility are female-presenting. I think besides a few of the doctors the rest of the staff is over 95% women. It’s rare to have a male tech on crew.

Not only would be it reasonable to ask to keep hospital gowns on hand for patients who don’t bring something to wear, you could also suggest that patients be informed ahead of time that they should bring something comfortable to sleep in “or a hospital gown will be provided.” If the answer is no, then so be it, but asking about it shouldn’t look out-of-line.

If you want extra cover (ha) because you’re new, you could talk to some of your coworkers about it, see if anyone shares your discomfort, and raise it as a group (or have the person with the most influence raise it). But it’s entirely reasonable, and sometimes it takes a new person to see that something everyone else has gotten used to is off and/or could be improved.

2. Upgrading business flights and hotel rooms at my own expense

I work for a nonprofit that requires a decent amount of travel. I am very well compensated compared to others in similar positions in my field, though I could make double or triple doing similar work in the private sector (which I used to work in).

The thing is, I’m independently wealthy. When I travel, I book within my employer’s guidelines for airfare and hotels, but then upgrade myself to first class or a nicer room. I use my personal credit card and then submit for reimbursement, but only for the originally booked expenses within guidelines. I’m probably spending a few thousand dollars a year making my work travel more comfortable. It’s worth it to me and doesn’t impact anyone I work with. If other people from my organization or a partner organization are also on the trip, I don’t do those things.

Is there anything wrong with this? Should I stop? I did tell the admin assistant who processes my expenses that I will sometimes upgrade myself with miles, just so they are not surprised if my ticket receipt shows first class. I have also decided not to get a corporate card (even though it means I may have a few thousand dollars of unreimbursed expenses for two to three months) because I want the points and don’t want to deal with finance.

Nope, you’re fine. It’s not uncommon to upgrade yourself at your expense or using your own personal miles. With nonprofits, you do need to think about what the optics could look like to donors so if you were, like, arriving at a donor meeting in a golden palanquin, that would be an issue. But upgrading your flight and room? You’re fine. (Just make sure to keep documentation of what you’re covering versus what the org is covering in case anyone ever questions it.)

3. How to ask for grace during a personal crisis

You published a letter a short time ago about someone who broke their leg and wasn’t getting sympathy/understanding from coworkers. I really liked the comments suggesting that we should do a better job of self-publishing our challenges so that others have a better opportunity to support us.

Unfortunately, I find myself in need of some support/understanding and I’m struggling with how to share it. I work with a huge number of internal customers who have urgent/time-sensitive requests. It’s already a big source of stress in my life that I can never afford to have an “off” day. It’s a very intense environment where people are often curt with each other, and I thrive in that usually, but some days I just have a lower tolerance.

My best friend died yesterday. I had urgent work so I couldn’t really call out today without burdening others, and didn’t want to sit at home staring at a wall anyway. But I’m also clearly not myself and am not keeping up with some important work.

I also found out that a coworker’s teenaged child tried to commit suicide two weeks ago, and she didn’t let anyone know and didn’t ask for time off. I’m obviously unspeakably horrified for her and rehashing every conversation, panicked that I was less than patient with her at any point, but trying to respect her request that we keep business as usual.

In both cases, I’m wondering how we can explain that we need some grace, without randomly blurting out “something awful just happened to me” to the 50+ people we interact with on a daily basis?

One option: “I’m dealing with a personal crisis so I might not be at 100% right now.” Another: “I’m dealing with a family crisis — just letting you know in case you notice I seem off.” Or if you’re willing to share more: “Someone close to me died this week, so I’m only taking care of the must-do’s right now.”

But also … “a very intense environment where people are often curt with each other” is pretty much guaranteed to be hard on someone most days. At any given point, someone in your office is probably going through something hard that’s being made worse by colleagues speaking to them curtly. It can be challenging to hold that awareness in the front of your mind all the time, especially in a really hard-driving environment, but ideally we’d all strive to.

4. My manager wants “get shit done” meetings

Is it appropriate for a line manager to put GSD meetings on your calendar? This line manager told me they were “get shit done” meetings.

Sure. It’s a term you see in some corners of business space. It’s a little tech-bro-ish, but it’s a term some people use. If it grates on you because of the profanity, you can ask to call it something else.

5. Did I accidentally misrepresent a job on my resume?

I have been unsuccessfully job searching for a few months after a cross-country move. I finally got an offer last week and am super excited about it! Here’s my problem, though. I was filling out their information for the background check, and realized they are confirming employment for all of the jobs listed on my resume. No problem! Except the oldest relevant work experience on my resume was not actually a paid job — it was an assistantship where I earned college credit. Obviously, this should have been noted on my resume, but I put it on there as “relevant experience” when I was applying to my first job in my field, and just somehow never thought to update it over the years. So when the third party background check company checks my employment, I won’t show up as a former employee, because technically I wasn’t. What should I do here? Should I preemptively reach out to HR to alert them and explain? Should I wait to see if it even gets flagged? Help!

This is not a big deal. An unpaid assistantship is still legitimate work experience, and you didn’t do anything wrong by listing it without noting that it was unpaid. There’s no expectation that you’ll flag unpaid internships and similar as being unpaid.

If you’re worried about it, you can include a note in the background check paperwork (or send it separately to them now) to the effect of, “The position at X in 2011 was an unpaid assistantship for college credit so I don’t know if I’ll show up as a former employee or not. If you need another way to verify it, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the person who managed me there.” But you could even leave off that last sentence and it’ll almost certainly still be fine.

{ 724 comments… read them below }

  1. tabloidtainted*

    Almost every sleep study I’ve seen asks people to bring a loose fitting, non-silky, two piece sleep outfit.

    1. Andie*

      Yup, just checked the email I have from one I had 10 years ago and here’s the wording:
      * Please bring LOOSE fitting, freshly laundered, 2-piece sleepwear such as cotton t-shirt and shorts.
      * You should avoid wearing slippery sleepwear such as garments made of silk or satin.

      The fact that your clinic isn’t giving you these tools for people is weird.

          1. Jammies Please*

            They put tons and tons of wires on you, maybe they don’t want you sliding around and risking moving them as much as possible.

          2. Felix*

            They basically glue the electrodes to you. I would guess that maybe they want to avoid fabrics which could be ruined by it (but may be common in sleepwear).

          3. Cats Ate My Croissant*

            It’s probably because a lot of silky fabrics are artificial fibre (nylon, polyester etc) which can generate static electricity when rubbed together. That could mess with the electrode readings.

      1. TheBunny*

        Freshly laundered gives me pause. We all know that was included because at one time someone… didn’t. EEEEKKKK

        1. When*

          I’m about to go into hospital for a scheduled operation. The information sheets tells me to arrive at 7:00am, freshly showered and wearing clean clothes! My mind boggled a bit at that!

          1. Cathie from Canada*

            I guess they do this now. I had two recent surgeries that required this, and I also had to use a particular hypoallergenic soap in the shower. The hospital doesn’t want to have to admit people prior to surgery now, I guess. And I was just as happy to sleep at home the night before, instead of at the hospital.

              1. Irish Teacher.*

                I got the same instructions and nope, I had to buy it, but this was in Ireland, so may be different elsewhere.

                1. owen*

                  the surgeries i had last year (also in Ireland, two different hospitals) neither of them asked me to use any particular soap… but they did specify freshly showered and bring clean sleepwear for the hospital.

              2. Dog momma*

                Kate M. they give you the particular soap and instructions on how to my case, neck to ankles, front and back. it depends on the surgery.

                1. Cyborg Llama Horde*

                  When I had surgery that gave me instructions on what soap I was to use, it was clearly about being antimicrobial. The instructions were basically “soap XYZ… or you can use Dial if you can’t get that.”

                2. Pippa K*

                  Huh. I had to use a specific cleanser (Hibiclens) and was instructed to purchase it myself. And before surgery they asked about it, to make sure I had used that cleanser and not just soap.

                3. Jennifer @unchartedworlds*

                  Yes – I can’t find the link right now, but I recently read an interesting piece of research where they had genetically compared the germs in wound infections with the germs on each person’s skin, and found that a high percentage of the time, it was a match. The inference was that infections in hospital might have arrived with the patient – and that germs which normally live on your skin, and normally don’t bother you, can become a problem post-surgery.

              3. Fives*

                My mom had surgery last week and had to buy specifically Dial antibacterial soap. It’s definitely not provided.

              4. fhqwhgads*

                For my recent surgery the scheduler told me to buy the soap (including how many ounces, very specific), and I did. Then at my one-week-prior check in, the nurse gave me the soap.

              5. Bitte Meddler*

                For all the surgeries I have had as an adult, I was given packets of the soap (Hibiclens) but it’s also an off-the-shelf product that’s available at every drugstore I’ve been inside.

              6. Clisby*

                My husband was instructed to use an antibacterial soap before a couple of procedures, but it wasn’t anything exotic – Dial was OK.

              7. Elizabeth West*

                I was given a special body wash to use for my gallbladder surgery, at the pre-op appointment where I met with the anesthesiologist. (I’m in the US.) It was just enough for the two or three showers before the operation. I had to use it on my torso.

              8. Lauren*

                Australian here, my mum recently had major surgery and they gave her a special antibacterial soap and very specific instructions on how to wash herself with it the morning of.

            1. When*

              Just to clarify – I was surprised that the hospital had to tell people to come in freshly showered and wearing clean clothes. I thought that would be the norm.

              1. Katie Impact*

                I know some people prefer to shower in the evening rather than the morning, so they might need to change their routine for a morning sleep study (or vice versa for an evening study).

                1. Venus*

                  @ the bean moves on

                  They want minimal bacteria and other growth on the skin, so freshly in this case would be just before leaving home.

                2. Selina Luna*

                  At my sleep study, they had showers in the room and would ask that everyone shower there, and that no one apply lotion or body oil. That was the reason for them. They didn’t specify material for pajamas, though.

                3. Purpleshark*

                  @ the bean moves on
                  Right, but then if you climb into a bed with sheets and bedding that are not fresh or you share a bed with someone else or a pet this removes the point of shower to surgery or to sleep study.

                4. Clisby*

                  Yeah, I don’t shower in the evening unless it’s the one day of the week I wash my hair (evening shower gives it more time to dry).

                5. Dahlia*

                  The hospital I’d have to get surgery at is 2 hours away from my house. I’m wincing at the idea of a morning shower before driving for 2 hours, especially when it would probably be booked at like 9am.


              2. Mb*

                There are a lot of patients whose personal hygiene standards are low, and once a week baths can be the norm (heavy labor jobs) in certain cultures/communities. It is unpleasant. .

                1. Lather Bather*

                  That’s a much nicer way to put “some people are just nasty!”

                  The amount of people that go out into the world talmbout “HHHHHHHiiiiiiii HHHHHooooow Aaahhhhhhrrree YOOOOUUuuuuu” with unbrushed teeth and unwashed face is mind-boggling.

                2. Dek*

                  ‘That’s a much nicer way to put “some people are just nasty!”’

                  That’s inappropriate.

                3. Nomic*

                  They aren’t lower standards, they are DIFFERENT standards. Daily bathing is a very recent event in terms of societal norms, pushed in part by the advertising industry (the other part being access to indoor plumbing and hot water). Daily bathing is also mostly a western culture norm, so calling the rest of the world ‘nasty’, or having ‘lower hygiene standards’, is pretty near-sighted.

                4. Lather Bather*

                  I was talking about those in our western culture who go out unwashed. I see how it comes across. But I still think those of us in this western culture who talk into your face with unbrushed teeth are nasty.

                5. Dek*

                  Even in “Western culture” there are reasons folk might not have the same rigorous hygiene you do, and it’s not fair or appropriate to blanket refer to folks who don’t bathe daily as “nasty.”

                6. SocialConventions*

                  As someone with skin conditions that react poorly to both soap and water, I can tell you that daily bathing is a social convention. Showering or bathing no more than once a week is perfectly acceptable from a medical perspective and often advised for folks with various skin conditions.

                7. Hexiv*

                  @Lather bather, we are talking about people receiving medical treatment. People who cannot bathe themselves regularly because they are that ill are always going to be more commonly found in medical facilities, because they are the people who are going to need regular treatment for a complex series of conditions. Dek’s right, it’s inappropriate to reduce that to “some people are just nasty,” even if you put in caveats for “as long as they come from my culture.”

              3. RabbitRabbit*

                Having worked in healthcare for years (more recently as a research coordinator working directly with patients, but having moved on to regulatory oversight since then) – no you cannot assume anything about people. Nothing at all.

              4. fhqwhgads*

                It’s a little more specific than that, both the business with the soap and the shower/clean clothes. They’re trying to reduce the chance of infection at the incision site at much as possible, by reducing the amount of potential bacteria transfer from other parts of your body. So the special soap is antibacterial, and they want to be sure you sleep on clean sheets and put on clean clothes and all that before going to the hospital. A lot of people might re-wear jeans, which is generally no big deal, but not a good idea right before surgery. So it’s not really about different people’s standards for hygiene. It’s specific standards for decreasing post-surgical infections.

                1. noom*

                  As an adult, I had surgery in a children’s hospital recently (common for some congenital conditions), and laughed at the instructions asking me to make sure my child had had a bath that morning – but I also assumed that this was the exact reason why.

            2. run mad; don't faint*

              I was told to use an antibacterial soap which are pretty easy to find these days. But yes, freshly showered and with clean clothes.

            3. londonedit*

              When my mum had knee surgery a couple of years ago the instructions said to shower at home using Hibiscrub (antibacterial soap used in hospitals; this was provided) on the morning of the appointment and then not apply any moisturisers or anything, and to bring pyjamas (shorts preferred) and slippers with firm soles (because they get you out of bed pretty much as soon as you’ve recovered from the anaesthetic, to start walking and physiotherapy).

          2. cabbagepants*

            Many people do not shower every morning! For example, I shower in the evening.

            For my surgery it sounded like avoiding skincare products was at least as important as being clean. The surgeons were going to cut into the inside of my body; I can’t imagine that they would be offended by body odor. Rather, they needed my skin to behave a certain way: neither clammy with a week of sweat, nor slick with cologne.

            1. allthat*

              More like if they’re going to cut into your body, the less bacteria present on your body the better. Presumably the OR, staff, and instruments have been disinfected (or covered in protective gear) so your body is the major thing bringing in contaminants to your surgery. That’s also why “freshly showered” probably does not mean the night before.

              1. Monday Musings*

                It’s sop to disinfect the skin where external incisions will be made. Showering, washing, and all of that is extra help against infection.

                1. Lydia*

                  Yes, but showering the night before and then sleeping in your (possibly) not freshly changed sheets means you’re undoing some of what they want from freshly washed. The less bacteria on the body, the better, even if they are disinfecting you before surgery.

          3. Llama Llama*

            My twins have had lots of surgeries and for each they wanted them clean. When they had brain surgery they had very special soap I had to scrub their head with the night before. Never have been specified anything in clothes though (they always put them in gowns).

          4. HonorBox*

            I’m wondering if there’s concern on the hospital’s part about the potential for some sort of infection. The fewer the germs on the patient, the easier it is to ensure cleanliness. I’m sure there’s some extra washing that they’ve had to do on patients, but also the risk of things like MRSA means there’s heightened alert for the possible liability for the hospital.

            1. Mouse named Anon*

              My 6 year old had surgery in March. We had the same instructions she had to be freshly bathed and she could also bring a comfort item that had to be laundered too.

          5. Staja*

            When I had surgery last year, I was also told to put clean sheets on my bed the night before surgery, in addition to washing with Hibiclens and wearing clean clothes. Truly, some hospitals want to take zero chances.

            1. Imtheone*

              I had surgery eight years ago, and had similar instructions: clean sheets, freshly laundered sleepwear, and a shower with antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of. Also, no leave-in hair products.

              I asked my husband to wear clean pjs as well.

          6. Middle Aged Lady*

            Mine even specified to shower the night before and sleep on clean sheets in clean pajamas.

          7. Miette*

            After I had surgery on my dominant hand, I was glad for this requirement–I couldn’t have used it to bathe effectively for several days, and at least I started those days out clean :)

          8. Ace in the Hole*

            This makes total sense to me. For starters, it’s very common not to shower every single day – and perfectly hygienic under normal circumstances as long as the person spot-washes particular areas daily. But for surgery they want to start with the whole body as clean as possible to minimize any risk of cross-contamination or infection.

            Second, I can totally imagine someone going straight to the hospital from their graveyard shift job without thinking to shower and change first. Again, not necessarily unhygenic… but standards of cleanliness for meeting up with friends for breakfast are not the same as for going into surgery!

          9. Health Policy Sausage-Maker*

            To be fair, hospitals serve a wide range of patient populations, including those (such as unhoused individuals or those who are housing insecure) who do not routinely or even frequently have access to showers, bathrooms or laundry facilities.

          10. OMG, Bees!*

            I like to think of that like a regular checklist, just to make sure. Same as giving a checklist to a pilot or a doctor even if they know everything or writing a list before getting groceries.

        2. Anon for this*

          If I was having a sleep study, I would bring clean pajamas, but it might not occur to me that pajamas I’d worn Monday night didn’t count as clean for a sleep study on Tuesday night.

          1. All Het Up About It*

            This reminds me of a comment thread on an organizer’s Intsa a few years ago where it became apparent that there are two distinct groups of pajama wear folk. Those who will rewear pj’s multiple nights in a row and those who will NOT.

            1. La Triviata*

              A number of years ago, I had what turned out to be appendicitis. For my own comfort, I (1) made sure to go to the emergency room AFTER the hungover college kids had been sent on their way and BEFORE the early morning breakfast injuries came in and (2) took a shower and washed my hair. I told a friend who’s a nurse and she said I probably made the people in the ER happier.

        3. goddessoftransitory*

          Yep. To quote an old Foxworthy routine: “They wouldn’t tell you that unless somebody had done it.”

        4. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

          Half of the patients I have seen to date have very dirty skin. We prep and clean the spots where the electrodes sit and some patients require more cleaning than others, especially elderly patients. It can be sad when it’s due to neglect so I do the best I can not to judge and to make people feel comfortable. About a year before I started my new job a patient brought cockroaches into the lab. The entire facility had to be shut down for fumigation. Humanity…it’s a mixed bag.

      2. kalli*

        The clinic probably is, just since it’s not usually the tech’s job to do booking and intake, LW hasn’t been given all that detail since their job comes after all that.

        They should have been informed of any procedures around clients sexually harassing staff (which wilful nakedness may well count as even in the context of ‘but I sleep naked IDGI’ which, well, not all men would be genuinely confused about this) and be allowed to insist that clients must be dressed for the procedure, and likely someone just forgot that during onboarding or figured that if it happened, LW would be sensible enough to go ‘hmm hey we have to document all this for legal reasons, maybe I’m meant to speak up if a client would prefer me to touch them while they’re naked when it’s not clinically necessary’ and they’d find out that the gowns are in a cupboard in the observation room or wherever then.

      3. Falling Diphthong*

        Yes, I think the lack of instruction to patients is the odd thing here.

        And many people don’t own pajamas, so the instruction you give for T-shirt and shorts is reasonable. (When I’m recovering from medical stuff I wear a T and knee-length yoga pants, which go from lounge wear to sleep wear without me needing to move.)

        1. Spring*

          And I assume that’s why they say “clean” clothes. When I’m working from home, I can wear the same yoga pants all week, changing only my underwear. It sounds like that’s NOT what the hospital wants. :-)

        2. Nightengale*

          Well but is it that the patients aren’t given instructions (possible) or that they didn’t notice or recall the instructions they were given (even more possible)

          In my work with many patients and families over the years I have found a 66% response to instructions about what to bring to appointments is pretty good. I do telehealth once a week and I know our scheduler tells the family that the child has to be at the visit. I work with neurodivergent children including many quite young ones and the child doesn’t need to stay at the screen the whole time or actively participate but we can’t bill insurance if the child isn’t there at all. Out of 10 telehealth visits, the chances are very high that at least one child will be at school or daycare or grandmas or the parent will be at work without the child. Because “no one told me.”

      4. A Sleepy Dude*

        It’s interesting, I’ve had multiple sleep studies at 2 different clinics and they were only concerned about bottoms for males, and were actually happy to not have to fight with a shirt for all the electrodes and such they needed on me

      5. OlympiasEpiriot*

        My doc has suggested a sleep study, but, I didn’t know this (or even think about it). I would definitely have a very disturbed night if I had to wear much of anything, especially if it were around my neck line. I am not claustrophobic in the least in every other situation, but, nightgowns or even t-shirts make me crazy in a bed. They don’t turn with me and I wake up choking.


        1. Sleep Studies R Us*

          This may sound crazy, but you could try a nursing bra? I used to sleep in those, pre-breast reduction surgery, and they covered all the important bits.

        2. Timothy (TRiG)*

          Sleeping with wires on me sounds bad enough (I toss and turn in bed), but I don’t wear a t-shirt to bed unless it’s actually cold enough that I can see my breath, and even then I’d rather not. Slept in a tent below freezing last month, and was comfortable naked in a good sleeping bag.

      6. Alle Meine*

        My dad did a sleep study in the 90s and he was told he had to wear pjs then! And it never occurred to my dad (who sleeps in his undies) to NOT wear pjs to a sleep study.

    2. Anonys*

      Yes, I just did a google search on various sleep centers and literally all of them say to bring pajamas and that sleeping nude is not acceptable. They also usually specify it has to be a “two-piece” so a hospital gown might not be the best solution.

      I think OP should approach management/the lab tech (ideally together with coworkers), explain they are encountering frequent nudity and ask that a note on pajamas is included in the info material, as per industry standard.

      This website explains it quite well:
      “two-piece pajamas are a must for the comfort of the technician performing your study and the need to attach electrodes and leads in various positions (around your waist and legs, etc.).”,and%20legs%2C%20etc.).

      1. Wintermute*

        The “two piece” part is most likely the result of the fact they need to wire you up with an EKG and chest band to measure respiration, as well as the control/transmitter unit for all of it, and they don’t want the neck, feet and hand holes to be the only option to run a cable out.

    3. Anny for this*

      yep. which is why, as someone with sensory issues, my entire sleep study was useless, because having that stuff on me in my sleep kept waking me up within seconds of falling asleep (along with a breath-disruptive panic reaction). Looking only at the breathing trace the doctor wanted to discuss my intense and atypical sleep apnea (NOT what I was in for) until I pointed out the other data… and that I hadn’t been asleep.

      “it’s NBD to sleep in what we tell you to sleep in” is false, and leads to bad research, wasted money, and undiagnosed patients.

      IMO, if you are not comfortable with humans having bodies (which, I understand, that’s a thing for many people), then patient-contact medicine may not be your most appropriate field.

      The gold standard for sleep medicine used to be to try to recreate the patient’s normal sleeping conditions and circumstances (and sleep schedules). It has since become commodified and standardized to the point where the people with the most severe sleep disturbances are now least able to benefit from sleep studies.

      People who wake up feeling like they are choking, or who have paralytic night terror, and have long ago given up on having covers on top of them and shirts on, are not having their symptoms “at” you.

      Plus people are not “naked” in underwear? Tighty whiteys cover more than speedos do. OP, You are allowed to have your scruples and limits. But let’s not pretend that holding the line on “wear PJ’s” doesn’t do some of your most desperate patients a disservice.

      1. Cat*

        I agree. If you sleep naked, you sleep naked. How can you replicate that? I was worried I would be too hot in my sleep study. I usually sleep in a Tshirt and underwear, but sometimes naked. Turned out ok, but I would have been unhappy if that had kept me from sleeping.

      2. Seven If You Count Bad John*

        Yeah I sleep naked or sometimes in leggings or undies and a t-shirt but mostly naked, the better to control all the layers of sheet-blanket-quilt-pillows I need—also yeah I do wake up and rearrange things. I don’t have a problem. I’m fine. This is fine.

      3. Yup*

        If you sleep with a cat or smoke in bed, you can’t replicate that either. You’re not there to mimic your sleep habits. You’re in a professional setting for testing.

        1. cabbagepants*

          No but I think that Anny’s point is made about reasonable accommodations. Smoking in a hospital is not reasonable. Allowing the medical staff to see you in your underwear (or, gasp, naked) should be within the realm of reasonable. Hopefully the majority of patients could still sleep ok non-naked for the study, but there likely will still be a few people who need to be naked.

          1. Kaiko*

            No, sorry. This conversation echoes one we had on this site not long ago, where we talked about doctors having folks in the room during breast and gynaecological exams: the patient’s comfort does not supercede professional norms. The professional norm in a sleep study is that people will be clothed. “Just” because someone works in a sleep clinic doesn’t mean that need to work around someone’s preference for nudity.

              1. Ex-Teacher*

                You can’t just assume that the things patients want for comfort will be reasonable or acceptable.

                People want lots of things that are unreasonable at best, and excuses to sexually harass/demean/harm people at worst. Just because something is being asked in the name of “patient comfort” does not mean it can or should supersede professional norms and protection of employees from harassment and harm.

              2. Kaiko*

                Explain this giant yikes? We supercede people’s preferences all the time in the name of health, safety (and a clinical practitioner’s mental health and not feeling threatened while in conversation with nude patients *is* a safety practice) and social norms. Show me a medical practice that happens in the nude – even the most invasive surgeries will involve covering the patient and draping areas that are not actively being worked on. Heck, even a “no shoes, no shirt, no services” sign in a restaurant is indicative of this. Let’s not pretend that nudity in professional services is normal, or people are somehow entitled to it.

                1. cabbagepants*

                  I agree that there are plenty of times to override comfort, but mere “professional norms” absolutely do not make that list, especially in a medical care setting where the patient is going to be vulnerable. “Professional norm” just means “this is how we’re used to doing things.”

                  Through history it has been professional norm to deny care in the name of science (Tuskegee Syphilis Study), not wash hands in between patients (not mandated until the 1980s!), and even today perform medically unnecessary pelvic exams on patients under anesthesia in the name of educating medical students.

                  There are good reasons to override comfort but “professional norm” does not meet that standard, like, at all.

                2. Kaiko*

                  @Cabbagepants – are you seriously comparing not being able to sleep naked at a sleep study to the systemic abuse and experimentation on Black folks? This is wildly overrreaching and problematic.

                  I would reiterate my invitation to you to tell me about another professional service or medical service where it is usual and welcome to have the patient be fully nude.

                3. cabbagepants*

                  @Kaiko, nope, I’m explaining my yikes regarding your comment about professional norms vs. patient comfort.

                4. Salsa Your Face*

                  “Show me a medical practice that happens in the nude”

                  Childbirth. I spent 10 hours in agony, naked as the day I was born because I kept getting in and out of the shower for pain relief, and no one gave a flying fig about it.

                5. La Triviata*

                  There was an article about doing pelvic exams on patients who’s been anaesthetized in my paper’s science and health section yesterday. I took it as improving the treatment of patients – requiring written consent, explaining that, in a teaching hospital, the exam might be conducted by a student, that there would be someone supervising. I can’t recall all the changes, they seemed to improve the treatment of the patient and their autonomy

            1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

              Also it was noted it was mostly men who do this. The OP also used the words creepy old guys.

              Think about it for a minute. Just because you work in the medical field does not mean you should be subject to creepy guys who want to see if they get a reaction out of you by being naked.

              BTW, I did a sleep study, I normally sleep naked, but I followed the directions and wore PJs.

              1. Nomic*

                Just because OP uses the words ‘creep old guys’ doesn’t mean they guys are actually creepy (or old for that matter). Wanting to sleep like you normally do doesn’t make you creepy.

                1. New Jack Karyn*

                  This gives rise to the question of what this facility tells their patients. If they are telling people to wear PJs (or t shirt and boxers, etc.), then the dudes who are doing this–there’s a high chance they know what they were told, and are ignoring it for reasons other than their normal sleep patterns.

                2. Texan In Exile*

                  Choosing to be naked around female technicians does, though. And it’s a choice for sure. I can’t believe someone who arrives clothed at the lab who strips down to naked doesn’t pause for just a second before he removes his underwear. When I have a pap smear, I have had to steel myself for days knowing that strangers will be sticking things up my hoo-hah. Removing the underwear is no accident.

                3. Quill*

                  I think you’re misinterpereting the source of the comment about the “creepy old guys.”

                  Many people might want to sleep however they normally do in a sleep study, whether that’s in the nude or with their feet on the pillow and their head hanging off the foot of the bed, but the people specifically assuming that their nudity will be fine in the sleep study are men older than OP, who judges their insistence that she deal with their nudity as creepy. And it is. Because nudity is not a thing practically, or socially, expected in this medical space.

            2. Mine Own Telemachus*

              Additionally, you’re never just naked in front of one part of staff.

              I sleep naked 99% of the time but wore pajamas when I went in for a sleep study because the rooms are not en suite – you share a bathroom with the floor. You also get hooked up to the wiring in another room, so you’re walking around in front of other patients. Being naked is absolutely outside the norm for that kind of thing, and it’s an imposition on the staff and the other patients. You are also *on camera* being monitored all night, so it’s not just a one time thing.

              If it’s so bad that you can’t get a reading at the clinic, there are at home studies for precisely the scenario described.

              1. Monday Musings*

                Yes, home studies are a thing. You can depend on someone in this commentariat to be contrarian.

            3. Roeslein*

              I don’t judge anyone’s culture but I’m very glad to have moved back to a country that doesn’t have chaperones (that you can’t refuse, presumably because they are afraid you will sue the doctor?) in medical settings. It made me very uncomfortable. I don’t think is comparable to asking patients to be clothed!

        2. Beany*

          I was going to do an overnight sleep lab of this sort recently (cancelled because insurance wouldn’t cover it), and the prescribing doctor did say it *was* supposed to mimic my sleep habits as much as possible. Now there are limits, but body temperature is pretty fundamental, and if I was used to minimal clothing to keep cool, wouldn’t having to wear pyjamas — and possibly sleeping a lot worse as a result — invalidate the results?

          1. Observer*

            and if I was used to minimal clothing to keep cool, wouldn’t having to wear pyjamas — and possibly sleeping a lot worse as a result — invalidate the results?

            No. Because they can control the temperature to keep it cooler than the typical apartment.

            And for the test results to be significant, they do need to standardize as best they can so they know what’s going on. Like they can’t take a chance that your results look different from everyone else’s in your medical demographic because of the way you were clothed (or not), rather than because there is something going on.

            Which is why they also don’t want people in too much clothing either.

            1. Sacred Ground*

              Wait, is it somehow easier or preferable to adjust the temperature in the room than to allow the patient their normal sleeping habit? Because I’ve never seen a hospital or medical facility or office building for that matter where individual rooms could be adjusted like that.

              1. Observer*

                Wait, is it somehow easier or preferable to adjust the temperature in the room than to allow the patient their normal sleeping habit?

                All things considered? Yes. Assuming that that kind of control actually matters. (Note that most of these centers are kept so cold that it’s highly unlikely that even someone who really does run hot is going to get overheated from a t-shirt and loose shorts.

              2. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

                “Wait, is it somehow easier or preferable to adjust the temperature in the room than to allow the patient their normal sleeping habit?”

                Yes, because too much sweat will mess with the EEG readings. The goal of every study is to get good data for a diagnosis. Sweating can ruin that opportunity. Some patients will tell me they have hot flashes so I intentionally cool the room. When they wake in the morning they’re often amazed that they aren’t a sweaty mess.

        3. let's eat crackers and cheese in bed*

          Hmm…. I’m hung up on the idea that you’re not at the sleep study to mimic your sleep habits. I know that I sleep fitfully when I’m wearing clothes to sleep — given that, how will I get enough typical sleep worth studying? This is more a thought exercise — I’m not arguing for my right to sleep naked at a clinic, and I imagine “not a perfect science” is really the thing.

          1. No Longer Looking*

            When I wear a shirt to bed, I end up almost always with one arm numb/asleep/cold due to the shirt fabric twisting and cutting circulation in my armpit. It doesn’t seem to matter how loose the shirt is – if it has sleeves, my arm is in trouble, so such a requirement I would push back on.

            That said, there was no problem with my being shirtless in my sleep study, but even though I normally sleep nude I encountered no significant issues wearing loose PJ pants for the procedure. I do think the OP objecting to men wearing underwear is a bit unacceptable given her line of work though.

          2. Cassie the sleep tech*

            It’s true. Your sleep habits are for the most part irrelevant to the medical purpose of the sleep study. Sure, the patient needs to be comfortable, but as long as we get 2-4 hrs of your sleep recorded, that will be a successful sleep study. Sure, you’ll feel like crap the next day, but your medical test will be complete.

      4. Hospital PT*

        Agreed! Also, it’s healthcare. That inherently involves bodies. There is nothing “unprofessional” with someone sleeping in limited or no clothing. We are talking about a patient, in a vulnerable, unfamiliar and awkward position – not a professional. It sounds like OP might do well talking to some of the more seasoned techs to develop a script to handle this inevitable scenario.

        1. Monday Musings*

          Limited or no clothing when required by the medical situation. Privacy is protected as much as possible, such as draping sheets during pelvic and rectal exams.

          1. ModestyIsNotTheEndGoal*

            Some of us would rather not be in pain than be completely modest in medical situations. I have had soooooo many issues with medical staff focused on preserving modesty at the expense if everything else and as the patient whose modesty they are supposedly protecting it’s awful. Modesty can be prioritized over the ability to get a better quality scan. It can be prioritized over minimizing pain. If I’m in a hospital people around me can deal if they get a glimpse of something if it means I’m not in excruciating pain. If you object to all nudity you have no business working in a medical environment

            1. Cassie the sleep tech*

              This is not a situation where people are in pain or sick. This is a situation in which people, almost always men, don’t WANT to wear a pair of shorts. They don’t NEED to take their clothes off, they would just prefer to let it all hang out for everyone to see. Since there’s no medical reasons for this, they can keep their pants on.

              1. ModestyIsNotTheEndGoal*

                How do you know no one is in pain? People with chronic pain issues get all sorts of medical procedures not directly associated with their pain and there may need to be accommodations. In general, the massive prioritization of modesty over not being in pain causes all sorts of problems. Most patients don’t need to go completely shirtless for a successful mammogram but I do. Most people don’t experience a wave of excruciating pain if someone decides to yank a hospital gown shut but chances are I will. Most people don’t experience excruciating pain if someone trails along behind me trying to hold a gown shut and accidentally pulls on it because we’re not moving at the same pace but I will.

      5. BaffledBystander*

        I’ve had two sleep studies—one at home and one at a facility. It depends on what the study is for, but if it’s for sleep apnea you can take the study at home (although the nose thing is irritating).

        It doesn’t sound like these people necessarily have sensory issues—especially since the LW notes it’s mostly men. Sensory issues can be addressed in a case by case basis. However if it’s just how someone normally sleeps, they can usually manage a night in a tank top and shorts.

        1. Silver Robin*

          I noticed that too and I wonder if men more likely to sleep naked? My anecdata says yes, but I do not actually know.

          I want this to be a statistical trend and/or something about men not being trained to think of other’s comfort (aka women sleep naked just as often, but they are more likely to bring pjs to a sleep study because they remember context). Because otherwise this is men being creepy again and ugh

          1. Also-ADHD*

            Men are more likely to run hot (physiologically) and probably more likely to sleep naked for both that and socialization reasons. I would not assume someone was creepy if they’re not being notified to bring sleep clothes. They might assume they’ll sleep how they normally sleep. I’m not saying that employees should have to be uncomfortable but assuming creepiness seems a stretch here, if LW’s company truly doesn’t convey expectations. (And I’m a woman, I get men can be creepy, but thinking a sleep study would replicate home conditions — though they may not— doesn’t seem that weird or creepy to me.)

            In non cold weather, my husband sleeps in his underwear, and so have most men I’ve known what they sleep in. I’ve never been one to sleep in my underwear/naked, but I feel like the woman’s sleepwear market is much larger than the men’s frankly.

            1. Silver Robin*

              makes sense!

              As for not assuming creepiness, we have folks from this field in the comments saying that creepiness is absolutely a factor and that pjs are standard instructions nowadays. Additionally considering what we know about men’s socialization, I am prone to the disappointing explanation being more likely.

            2. Freya*

              My husband kicks off everything but the sheet and sometimes even that, on nights when I am happily buried under a comforter or doona and a folded over blanket. We both complain that the other steals the covers!

          2. Nonanon*

            Creepiness is a factor but so is straight up ignorance/not thinking ahead. One of my professors was talking about a study where a female graduate assistant needed to take height and weight of participants (relating to body image and accuracy of self report), and a male-presenting participant showed up in JNCO-style jeans. He was concerned they would affect his weight, and just sort of… took them off without prompting. Took his weight, put them back on, left presumably without a second thought and unknowing that he was the reason the lab instituted a new set of policies clarifying that if study participants were in the lab, two assistants needed to be present.
            There’s a non-zero chance men sleep naked, think “oh for the most accurate results I should sleep naked” and then just… do that.
            But also creep factor.

            1. JSPA*

              If the dude had shown up in next-to-skin running shorts, as part of his workout route, he would probably not have been turned away, I’m guessing?

              But when he ditches 10 pounds of blue jeans for a minute, you have to write a new rule…because there was a change in the amount of clothing, which implies he could have removed more than he did? Or because the styling of running shorts and underwear is slightly different, even though they both provide one-to-two layers of cloth over a guys “parts”? And both have essentially the same function of being “keep-em-ins”?

              None of this is about seeing more or less of bodies, right? It’s about whether underwear itself is shocking, and has Implications. Which, in any semi-medicalized setting, it really doesn’t, and shouldn’t.

              1. not like a regular teacher*

                To me it sounds like it’s about protecting workers from patients. It sounds like JNCO guy had not ill intentions, but a man taking his pants off unprompted is an action that many people would interpret as threatening or possibly threatening.

      6. Fish Microwaver*

        Antony For This puts it very well. I’ve worked as a sleep study tech and it’s almost impossible for the subjects to have anything near a normal sleep. The studies are expensive therefore making the subject comfortable and attempting to replicate a normal night’s sleep for them has a significant affect on their pocket as well as their health and quality of life.

      7. The Provisional Republic of A Thousand Eggs*

        I have sensory issues too, so, well, I sleep in the nude too.

        Added fun factor: I’m menopausal, so I get hot flashes, sometimes (of course) in the middle of the night, so I absolutely need to be able to completely uncover a larger part of my body every once in a while for some time. (Larger part == usually “everything below the waist”.) At home, I have a nice if somewhat complicated setup of “electric fan pointed juuuust right and several blankets of varying thickness”.

        I only hope that, should I ever need to get a sleep study done, it’ll be at that hospital in a nearby town where I’ve already spent some time for completely different reasons. They have really nice fleece pajamas in which I actually could fall asleep (and stay asleep). Among other things, the legs are so loose that I can easily push them up all the way even while (nearly) completely asleep.

        (That said, with my sensory issues, I don’t know if I could fall asleep (and stay asleep) with all those wires at all. If I could, it most certainly wouldn’t be in the pattern and manner that I usually sleep at home. So, yeah, another study wasted.)

        I had to LOL at “If you are not comfortable with humans having bodies (which, I understand, that’s a thing for many people), then patient-contact medicine may not be your most appropriate field”. I live in a care home, and the people who work here are very much comfortable with humans having bodies (as they need to be in this field). Me, I don’t have any major issues (I don’t need help washing, etc.), but it’s nice to know that should I, for example, slip in the shower, the person who comes to help me up won’t bat an eyelash at my being completely naked. Some weeks ago, I fell out of my bed in the middle of the night, and it took me about half an hour to climb back in (I have problematic knees). When I told the night nurse the following evening, she said, “Why didn’t you call me?”, and I replied, “But I was completely naked!”, to which she asked in all sincerity, “What does that have to do with anything?”.

        1. bamcheeks*

          I think it’s really important to understand that medical staff being unfazed by nakedness in situtations where it’s necessary or inevitable does not mean that they don’ get to have a problem with people being exposed to them when it’s not necessary or inevitable! A professional whose job is to come to pick you up when you’ve fallen over in the shower should be focussed on making *you* feel comfortable and offering you something to cover up as soon as they’ve established that you’re in a comfortable and safe position, or sooner if you’re obviously distressed about being naked. The same professional might deal kindly and briskly with a patient with dementia who keeps removing her clothes or trying to expose herself. That same professional is absolutely 100% allowed to object if they have given the patient ample warning that they need to come into their room and the patient is sitting there naked for funsies or self-gratification.

          1. The Provisional Republic of A Thousand Eggs*

            Touché. (Um, pun not intended.)

            I just hope that, should I ever be required to take part in such a sleep study, the info (etc.) papers I’ll get beforehand will include a red (very bright, very attention-grabbingly red) paper that describes briefly but clearly what the study entails (environment, (my) expected behavior, brief description on what they’re going to do) and how, exactly, I’m supposed to prepare.

            “You’ll have to lie down at 8 p.m. and you’ll have to lie on your back the entire time and you cannot wear a sleep mask because cables, and we know that that’s probably not your bedtime or your preferred position, but all we need is for you to lose consciousness at some point for a few minutes, because that’s all we need in order to determine whether or not you have $condition. Standardized pillow, blanket, and pajamas in sizes x through y will be provided. Please notify us no later than $date if you need a smaller or larger size.”


            “We need to recreate your normal sleeping environment as faithfully as possible in a lab setting. If you want, bring you own pillow, blanket, nightwear, and oh, what the heck, teddy bear; with the following exceptions: teddy bear must not be larger than [whatever], nightwear must be loose, must not be made of silky fabric, must consist of two (2) parts (top and bottom), and must cover at least [list of body parts and preferably also some stick figures wearing appropriate/inappropriate clothes], pillow/blanket/nightwear must not be made of [list of static-inducing materials], [etc.]. If you don’t bring appropriate nightwear (or none at all), we will send you home and charge you x amount for wasting our time.”

            vs. any combination of the above.

            … Sigh. I really hope I’ll never have to see the inside of a sleep lab now.

            (Also, I’m apparently far too nice, since it didn’t even occur to me that a certain type of man would do that “oops, forgot my sleepwear” or “but I always sleep in my Speedos” thing on purpose (for fun or sexual gratification or just plain bullying of some random lab tech) until people in this thread pointed this out. Far too nice. Also, eww.)

            1. bamcheeks*

              Yes, I completely think this is what should happen and that’s why I think LW is right to approach this as a management problem not a patient problem. The fact that LW doesn’t seem to be clear on what the appropriate boundaries are and what they can expect and establish as appropriate dress is the problem, and that’s as much for patients as LW. It is also horrible to be a patient who is just trying to deal with the weirdness of a sleep survey as well as possible to find that you’ve made a member of staff uncomfortable by being too naked! That’s a problem on both sides caused by management not prioritising clear communication to patients or not communicating their own standards and expectations to LW.

              1. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

                Thank you! I titled my email to AAM as, “Patient miscommunication or something else?” because I feel this really is all about CLEAR communication. Depending on the response I get I may also suggest a few stick figure drawings of acceptable sleep wear to include in the information packets and as postings in the offices.

        2. Monday Musings*

          I’ve had several sleep studies, and was told that the expectation is not to replicate exactly how you sleep at home. Clothing habits aside, some prefer complete darkness and dead quiet, neither of which you will have in a sleep clinic. Typically, sheer exhaustion causes you to fall asleep long enough to get the necessary readings.

          Stop pretending some men aren’t creeps and don’t enjoy flashing folks unnecessarily. This isn’t about being uncomfortable with bodies. A decent person who normally sleeps naked wouldn’t mind covering up a bit for a sleep study, no private parts required.

      8. Snow Globe*

        I would imagine that trying to sleep with electrodes glued to one’s body would be just as disruptive to sleep, if not more. I mean, you are in a different bed, in a different room, hooked up to a machine; it’s not going to be the same.

        1. watermelon fruitcake*

          The whole point of a sleep study – in order to be an effective and accurate empirical observation – is indeed to try and mimic a patient’s usual sleeping conditions, in order to diagnose the problems they are regularly and typically suffering (not “problems they only suffer when they sleep in the hospital”).

          Speaking from experience, it is terribly uncomfortable, and the electrodes are the least of it! My sleep study had me on the roughest sandpaper-lite sheets, on a mattress that hurt my bones, a pillow that was way too hard, and right under an a/c vent which was cold and LOUD. I was instructed to follow my usual bedtime routine and fall asleep and wake up when it was natural for me to do so, but then I was abruptly told it was lights out at 10 (I checked in at 9) and woken up at 6 because it was shift change.

          I accept that it will never be like sleeping at home, but that doesn’t mean the sleep center shouldn’t take steps to minimize arbitrary discomforts. Especially if they are at all invested in collecting usable and accurate data.

          (I say this as somebody who sleeps in pajamas even when nobody is watching.)

          1. Cassie the sleep tech*

            I understand why so many people think a sleep study should mimic a person’s normal sleep conditions. However, as someone that has been a sleep tech for 13 years, it’s simply not the case. The things that a sleep study looks for almost always show up within the first 2-4 hours of sleep. Yes, it sucks that it’s uncomfortable. Most medical tests are. I understand that it sucks not to get a good night’s sleep, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful and accurate sleep study.

        2. Monday Musings*

          THIS 100% I’m a side sleeper and you cannot sleep that way with all the crap hooked up. Took me a long, long time to drift off.

      9. Not on board*

        I think you’re projecting here. For the vast majority of people, sleeping in a tshirt and shorts isn’t going to render the sleep test/study useless. If there is a major sensory issue, such as in your case, that would require specific accomodations that could be made in advance.

        Personally, if I’m going into a sleep study, I don’t want my naked body on display for strangers while I’m sleeping. I do have issues with having fabric close to my legs when sleeping, so underwear or shorts are my only option – so I do understand why the clothing requirement would be an issue for someone such as yourself. I just think you’re being overly harsh on the OP and projecting your own frustrations.

        1. Dek*

          “I think you’re projecting here. For the vast majority of people, sleeping in a tshirt and shorts isn’t going to render the sleep test/study useless.”

          The vast majority of people don’t need a sleep study. If you need a sleep study, it’s because something is WRONG. And even if it’s only a minority of people in the sleep study, it’s still important for those people to have as accurate a study as possible.

          I personally could not imagine doing one in anything but full-length pants and a shirt, but I’m not everyone.

          OP can of course have their boundaries and limits. When I started art classes, we were allowed to opt out of nude studies at a comfort level and I did. But eventually there was a level where I actually had to do nude studies or drop out. To me, this is kind of the same–there’s nothing inappropriate or sexual about the nudity of a patient doing a sleep study (and CERTAINLY nothing inappropriate about one being in their underwear), but if that’s past the OP’s comfort level, then maybe it’s not the right workplace for them.

          1. Not on board*

            I don’t think nudity is a bad thing. And conducting sleep studies isn’t an obvious profession that should automatically expose you to nudity. Considering OP is a young woman and these are mostly older men, I can understand why they feel uncomfortable with the nudity.
            There are a high number of people out there who could do with a sleep study, so a lot more than are actually doing them – and there are also in home sleep studies that can be done if you have more serious sleep issues that require a certain environment. Also, typically, a lot of sleep clinics make you stay up all night before coming to the clinic – to make sure you are extra tired which makes it easier for you to fall asleep in a strange environment.

            The poster was very harsh on the OP – and a lot of people telling them to get over themselves is not helpful at all. Just because the nude sleepers who think it should be fine to sleep nude in a sleep clinic are being more vocal, it doesn’t mean that the OP is in the wrong profession.

            1. Starbuck*

              You don’t think so? I definitely would have assumed sleep studies involve nudity since so many people sleep that way.

              1. Jennifer Strange*

                Many people sleep in many ways that don’t work when you’re in a clinical setting, though. People sleep with pets and partners, with music playing, with specific lighting, etc.

      10. iliketoknit*

        I had a reaction a little like this – there are lots of people who sleep naked, for whom wearing something to sleep in could be pretty disruptive.

        That said, sleeping somewhere unfamiliar with electrodes stuck to you (and without individual support systems, like the elaborate setup I’ve created with a wedge pillow and whatnot) is going to be disruptive as well.

        My suspicion is that to some extent, given that everyone has to deal with that level of disruption, the results may not be directly representative of someone’s sleep under normal circumstances, but the results they get back will correlate with the quality of sleep under normal circumstances.

      11. Dek*

        This was my concern. I don’t think I could sleep without being covered, but a lot of people do. Nudity in a medical context *isn’t* inappropriate, and a sleep study is first and foremost a medical context.

        The idea that it’s inappropriate for patients to sleep in the nude if that’s how they normally sleep is a bit boggling to me. The sleep study is for the PATIENT. The most important thing is to try to replicate the patient’s natural sleep as much as possible, otherwise what are they even paying for.

        And seconded on the underwear. If even that’s too much, then maybe it’s not a good fit for you. It feels a bit like working at the meat counter while being squeamish.

        1. Butterfly Counter*

          I sleep in clothes, I sleep in pjs, and I sleep nude. It all depends.

          Despite the conversation going on here, I seriously doubt that wearing a loose cotton sleep outfit is going to move the needle much at all when it comes to the results of sleep studies. In fact, some of the conversation about the scratchy sheets and the other discomfort, wouldn’t being naked exacerbate it? Why not bring some super-soft jammies and pump up the AC if temperature is an issue?

          I trust the OP in her assessment that the never-never-nudes are insistent more for the thrill of exposing themselves to young workers than they are serious about not being able to sleep in soft clothes. For the 1 in 100 that may be sensitive around clothes that it will affect the results, figure out a general accommodation for them.

        2. DisgruntledPelican*

          Nudity in a medical context is often inappropriate, or do you think I should just take my pants off at my next dentist appointment?

        3. Cassie the sleep tech*

          Nudity in a medical context is perfectly OK when it’s necessary, like when a person’s body needs to be examined. A sleep tech doesn’t need to examine your body, so nudity is no more necessary or appropriate than it would be at your dentist or hair dresser.

      12. BW*

        Woman here. I sleep naked because wearing clothing twists around me and chokes me, or wraps around my legs and wakes me up. Darling hubby sleeps naked for the same reasons. Neither of us even own PJs or sleep shorts. And I’d probably buy the wrong thing and it would make it harder to attach the electrodes.

        There’s nothing creepy about sleeping naked. It’s a medical procedure. Your clinic should provide sleepwear for the patients, so that you know it’s clean, and the correct fiber content and clothing style to make it easy for you do attach the electrodes. Or, provide sheets and blankets that the person can get under, since I assume you’re only attaching the electrodes above the waist.

        1. Butterfly Counter*

          There’s nothing creepy about sleeping naked at home with your loved ones. And while I wouldn’t go so far to call wanting to sleep naked during a sleep study creepy, it is different because you know that someone is actively watching you as you sleep. It definitely feels like a power play that some people would engage in.

          And they’re not expecting you to sleep the whole night away there. They just have you sleep long enough to figure out if you meet the criteria for X, Y, or Z.

          1. No Longer Looking*

            Incorrect, they are expecting you to sleep from 10p-6a, or at least 6 hours within that time. I don’t fall asleep that early nor wake up that early though. I ended up sleeping 12:30a-6a which was 30min less data than they ideally wanted, and 90min less sleep than I wanted, but we both survived with what we got.

            My sleep tech was male, so the main issues of the discussion didn’t come up.

            1. Butterfly Counter*

              Gotcha. It may vary. I had heard of another person doing a sleep study and they found the thing they suspected right away that explained things so they kicked her out after it was confirmed. She was very surprised. I made the assumption that all sleep studies were like this. My mistake.

              1. Cassie the sleep tech*

                Btterfly Counter, you’re actually the most correct one here so far and someone has convinced you that you’re not. :sigh::

                1. Butterfly Counter*

                  Oh, good! I hate the idea that I’m spreading misinformation. But for some people, to get the diagnosis, they need more hours than another person.

                  But, yes, the point is not to sleep as normal, but to see if certain things are happening to you biologically as you sleep.

                  You may like to work out doing nude yoga, but when they do a cardio stress test on you, you gotta wear clothes. You may not completely 100% mimic your normal workout routine, but they can still tell if you have an arrhythmia or whatever.

          2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

            “Long enough” may be a good fraction of the night. When my wife had a study for sleep apnea done this winter they needed her asleep for at least five hours.

      13. Alpacas Are Not Dairy Animals*

        I was gonna say. You’re already sleeping away from home, add too many more variables and it’s not really much of a study anymore. And being in medicine is sure a weird choice for someone who doesn’t do nudity.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          First, there are tons of medical professions where one wouldn’t expect nudity (and it sounds like this is one of them). Second, even if some nudity was expected, there’s still an expectation of it being part of a controlled environment, not someone just stripping down in front of you.

          1. Dahlia*

            Imagine going to your dentist and getting naked because that’s how you brush your teeth at home and they’re a medical professional so they should be used to it.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              Even when I go to my gynecologist, I don’t just strip down in front of her! I put on a specific robe and sit in a specific way so that she can examine the parts of me that need examination one at a time.

              1. allathian*

                This is a very American thing. When I go to my gynecologist, I remove my pants and undies for the pelvic exam (and my shirt and bra for the boob exam), while wearing my normal clothes on the bits that the gyne isn’t looking at. Medical gowns are not a thing at doctors’ offices, only hospitals. The only time I’ve worn a medical gown was when I gave birth to my son.

      14. watermelon fruitcake*

        IMO, if you are not comfortable with humans having bodies (which, I understand, that’s a thing for many people), then patient-contact medicine may not be your most appropriate field

        As somebody who has had an unfortunate amount of interaction with medicine (including a similarly “failed” sleep study, trying to get to the bottom of recurrent sleep paralysis, insomnia, and overnight headaches but NO sleep apnea!), I had to scroll too far to get to a reasonable comment about this! I don’t want to see random strangers naked, or touch them, or have to discuss possibly “gross” symptoms with them… so I did not choose to go into a clinical field! Any clinical field runs a “risk” of nudity.

        I feel like the appropriate response to the LW would have been “maybe you should re-evaluate whether this is the right field for you” or “you should ask your employer to staff a better gender balance so issues of nudity can be less uncomfortable,” rather than, “please ask that they alter the parameters of the study in a way that could lead to inaccurate results, patient dissatisfaction, repeat tests, and other unsatisfactory outcomes.” And frankly I’m not comfortable with the implication that a guy who sleeps in his underwear is inherently disgusting or lecherous.

        (I did wear jammies to my sleep study, as I’m not typically a naked sleeper anyway, and I’m glad I did because it was flippin’ cold. But on the flip side, my husband sleeps in the buff and is a furnace even then. He would sweat the electrodes off if he was told to sleep with clothes on for a study. The thought that a sleep technician – somebody meant to be a professional about these matters – would treat him like a pervert if he accommodated by showing up in his boxers is upsetting.)

        1. Laura*

          It’s not true that any clinical field involves the risk of nudity. I’ve never had to get naked for a visit to audiology or optometry, just to name two. Never had to to see the ENT either and I suspect that’s pretty common.

        2. Cassie the sleep tech*

          And this is why there are shortage in pretty much all healthcare fields including sleep techs. There’s no reason that we should have to be exposed to people’s genitals, which is what the letter writer was talking about. You say to get out of the field and many have. My lab has a 5 month waiting list because of lack of staff and labs across the country are in the same position. I don’t need to see a dude’s dick, even if showing it to me would make him more “comfortable”.

      15. Middle Aged Lady*

        I kept waking up because the place was too well-lit and noisy from the street outside and the room was hot.

      16. Modesty Poncho*

        Uuugh, I also couldn’t get my techs to stop talking about how weird it was that I didn’t have sleep apnea at my weight. I was there to find out why it takes me 90 minutes to fall asleep without melatonin, I already knew I didn’t have apnea!

        It was so hot in the room for mine that the tech had to wake me up and readjust some of my sensors, because I was sweating hard enough to interfere with the reading. I usually sleep nude in as cold a room as I can get it! I was so uncomfortable all night.

      17. Jaid*

        This. I sleep without a top on, because as a toss-n-turner, I end up trapped with my arms restrained. I could probably sleep with a sports bra on, but that’s the extent of upper garment I’d be able to sleep with…

      18. Orv*

        This is why I’ve never bothered to get a sleep study. It would just show I don’t sleep well in unfamiliar environments. (Plus no one I know who has gotten a CPAP has been able to tolerate it enough to keep using it. Big waste of money.)

        1. Mine Own Telemachus*

          Hi hello CPAP user here. My entire family uses them. Been using mine for 18 months and I love the thing because I am no longer falling asleep at the wheel. Just because it’s your experience does not mean it is everyone else’s.

        2. Middle Aged Lady*

          Mr Middle Aged Lady uses his nightly. It took a while to find a mask that worked, and get the settings just right, though.

      19. Salsa Your Face*

        THANK YOU. That was my first thought when reading this thread as well. Sleeping in anything loose fitting feels like hell. I could manage a tank top and underpants, or maybe form fitting shorts, but a full on two piece pajama set would keep me up tossing and turning all night, and completely invalidate any data collected during a sleep study.

      20. OlympiasEpiriot*

        This is like what I am concerned about.

        Yeah, I wouldn’t want to go through the time and expense of a sleep study if it shows less-than-accurate information

      21. Dogwoodblossom*

        I’ve only ever taken an at home sleep test but it did feel like it was designed by aliens who had never been asleep before. It was absolutely miserable.

      22. Kara*

        Hang on. When I had my sleep study I had trouble sleeping (because strange place), and the nurse sympathized and said that normally I would have been given sleep meds but because of [medical condition] that I wasn’t able to take them. Is that only normal for obstructive sleep apnea?

      23. Starbuck*

        Yes I was a bit surprised that nudity would be such a shock in a patient setting involving sleep; it’s a very common thing after all. There should be protocols about inappropriate behavior, but if it doesn’t impair the study to allow people to sleep how they normally would – shouldn’t it be accommodated?

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          Sleeping naked is common in one’s own home. Sleeping naked while being observed (and recorded) is not common. Based on everyone here who has experience with this type of work has confirmed that it’s standard practice to have patients wear pajamas, so there is likely a reason for that.

          1. Dek*

            Sleeping while being observed isn’t common either.

            If the clinic doesn’t spell out EXACTLY how clothed people should be to take the sleep study, then there’s going to be folks showing up expecting to be able to sleep as they usually do. Some of them might be pervy creeps. Some of them might just not have thought about it. Some of them might not get why nudity is a big deal at all.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              I was specifically responding to a comment that said nudity for a sleep study shouldn’t be a shock since it was a common thing. Yes, the clinic should spell it out to cover their own butts, but it shouldn’t be a shock to someone that they can’t sleep naked while being observed.

      24. Banana Pyjamas*

        100% this. Most estimates show 20%-30% of people sleep naked. Sleep medicine professionals should absolutely expect to encounter nudity.

        Maybe it’s appropriate to require underwear that fully cover the genitalia, but not more than that.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          Sleep medicine professionals should absolutely expect to encounter nudity.

          Can we not tell medical professionals, who know their situation better than us, what they should expect? Yes, nudity is often a part of medical operations, but always in a controlled situation. This is for the benefit of both the patient and and the practitioner(s).

      25. Mom2ASD*

        Agreeing – I slept in a tshirt and underwear for my sleep study, and while I was able to sleep, it wasn’t quite the same depth of sleep as I would have normally. I mean, it wasn’t going to be that, anyway, as it was a strange bed, but I wouldn’t have slept at all if I had been wearing flannel pjs or anything constricting. Flannel PJs give me the heeby jeebies – I can’t even wear them while awake.

      26. Nope nope nopity nope, MD*

        I think you are vastly underestimating the number of creeps who routinely use the health care system as an excuse to force women to touch them. I work in medicine. At EVERY walk in clinic I’ve worked at there have been *multiple* male patients who were known for coming in regularly with “penis problems” or “prostate symptoms” and walking out if the doctor wasn’t young and female. I have had mentally ill patients fixate on my “healing hands” and request I “massage [them] like last time” (to be clear, I have never ever massaged a patient, ever) in whatever place is hurting today. No no nope no no, patients are not allowed to be naked in a health care setting because they sleep better that way — the staff’s right to not be sexually harassed supercedes the patient’s preference (even strong preference) to sleep nude. And just because I examine and touch people’s body parts all day does not mean that somehow makes me immune to the profound discomfort that comes from being sexually harassed. Ugh.

        1. Cassie the sleep tech*

          Thank you. Just because we’re in the medical field doesn’t mean we deserve to be sexual harassed.

      27. My Useless 2 Cents*

        I too had a completely useless sleep study (worst night of sleep in my life!) but I don’t think that negates the requirement of wearing clothing. Even though it is technically medical, so is a dentist visit. If I find laying down in the chair uncomfortable with a shirt on, it is still inappropriate to expect to have a dental cleaning wearing nothing but a bra. OP is completely within their right to ask not to be subject to a random guy in only their tighty whiteys when there is no medical reason why they guy can’t wear a pair of gym shorts or sweats or numerous other options.

    4. owen*

      i don’t recall if they specifically asked for pajamas in the two i’ve done, and i usually sleep nude… but also i did bring something to sleep in every time i’ve been hospitalised (all my hospitalisations had prior warnings) bc you just… don’t sleep naked in the hospital. LW1 it is definitely ok to ask your supervisor or longer term coworkers about this.

      1. Dog momma*

        Thank you owen..I can’t believe people think its ok to sleep naked in the hospital or for a sleep study.. . There are nuts out there that will accuse staff of inappropriate behavior & vice versa. I definitely wouldn’t want to see your private bits if I was working in a sleep clinic! And I’m A retired surgical nurse that saw my share of bits on postop patients for 20 + yrs

        1. Dek*

          “There are nuts out there that will accuse staff of inappropriate behavior & vice versa.”

          It seems like if people were going to do that, they’d do that regardless. After all, you still have to glue electrodes to their body. (I also don’t think it’s appropriate to refer to people as “nuts.”)

          I also think there’s a difference between sleeping naked in a hospital and sleeping naked in a *sleep study.*

          People have bits.

          1. Jennifer Strange*

            I also think there’s a difference between sleeping naked in a hospital and sleeping naked in a *sleep study.*

            There isn’t, though. In both cases you’re not alone and you’re being observed either in person and/or via camera.

            1. Cassie the sleep tech*

              Yes there is. People are naked in the hospital because they are sick or injured and either clothing would interfere with a wound or prevent medical staff from accessing the parts of the body they need to. None of this is true for a sleep study. Just put on some shorts.

              1. Jennifer Strange*

                Cassie, you and I are in agreement here. I think they should wear clothing while doing a sleep study.

        2. lilsheba*

          I agree. I think it’s insane to think it’s ok to sleep naked in a sleep study. I had several in the past and never even thought it would be ok to sleep naked at the center. NO. Just be an adult and wear something.

      2. Timothy (TRiG)*

        I haven’t worn (or owned) pyjamas in over twenty years. In a shared room, I’d sleep in boxer shorts. Alone or with my boyfriend, naked.

        I’d read and try to follow guidance, but if it wasn’t provided I think I’d assume that boxers would be acceptable. If they’re acceptable in a mixed-gender dorm in a hostel, I really don’t see why they wouldn’t be acceptable in a medical setting.

    5. Artemesia*

      Hospitals usually have loose shorts as well as gowns for procedures like x-rays that will require the patient to not wear pants e.g. a hip x-ray. A sleep study center should have those on hand for patients who do not bring sleep attire.

      1. Wintermute*

        sadly at my hospital they are not allowed to do this– only admitted patients are ever provided gowns or hospital wear to avoid confusion between in and outpatient.

        1. londonedit*

          I’m not sure whether it’s an actual rule here (UK) but in my experience it’s the same – you don’t get a hospital gown if you’re there for an outpatient appointment, and certainly not if you just go to the doctor’s surgery for an appointment. For things like smear tests (which for routine appointments are done at the doctor’s surgery by a nurse) you undress from the waist down – sometimes they’ll cover your lower half with a paper sheet but sometimes not – and for things like breast examinations or mammograms you just undress your top half. Then you get dressed again as soon as the procedure is finished. I’ve only ever seen hospital gowns on people who have been admitted (and even then if it’s a planned admission you’re asked to bring your own nightwear – and you would NOT be allowed to sleep naked).

          1. Lexi Vipond*

            I was given *two* hospital gowns the last time I was an outpatient (I can’t remember the name of it, but camera in my bladder) – apparently they should have told me to bring a dressing gown to put over the first one (tied at the back) while I waiting, but I was called up the day before to see if I wanted to take a cancellation and so never got the letter of instructions.

            So I don’t think it can be a rule here, but it definitely depends what you’re having done – ultrasounds I just had to slide down what I was wearing on my lower half.

          2. RussianInTexas*

            I just had a colonoscopy done, which is a 30 minutes procedure under the general anesthesia, they gave me a gown.
            Usually when I go to the OBGYN, I have to undress fully, and they give me a paper “top” cover and the “bottom cover”, so I am never fully exposed depending on which part of the body they are examining. Mammograms gives you a robe.

          3. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

            What would they do for something like an MRI where they need to be 10000% sure there is no metal in the room?

        2. doreen*

          So what do they do when someone is having an xray/mammogram/sonogram /cat scan and can’t keep street clothes on ? I end up with a paper gown even for the mammogram – they uncover one side at a time rather than making me just stand there topless.

          1. Lellow*

            I’ve had an MRI fully clothed (UK). With an Xray or mammogram you just take clothes off the specific bit of the body looked at. In all my pregnancy ultrasounds I just needed to pull my trousers+knickers down over my hips so that they covered my pubes but not much else.

            (That said, one time I went for an injection and was silly enough to be wearing a long sleeved dress which I had to take off entirely rather than scrunch the sleeves up! Didn’t get a gown though, just had the jab in my bra and knickers while the nurse very kindly didn’t laugh)

          2. londonedit*

            I’ve only ever been fully clothed for MRI scans (though they do tell you not to wear anything with metal). Otherwise, yeah, you just undress to give access to the bit they need to access. You don’t strip off and put a gown on.

    6. cat lady*

      that is what I was told also! public service announcement for anyone going to one, it was freezing cold and they only give you a light blanket. Mist miserable night I ever spent, can’t inagine wanting to sleep naked! next time I am taking thick wool socks and long underwear

      1. Observer*

        it was freezing cold

        I suspect that they do this to avoid both the people who say that they get too hot otherwise and because it seems to be that there is a bias in medical circles that cooler spaces are better medically that warmer spaces. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen the “freezing room” in every OR / Surgery prep / Recovery room I’ve been in. So much so, that in some cases, they provide a warm / heated blanket to patients.

        1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

          Colder temperatures impede bacterial growth. I’ve always assumed it’s as simple as that. (Also pragmatically it’s easier to warm someone in a too-cold room via the heated blanket than to chill someone in a too-warm room.)

        2. Jaunty Banana Hat I*

          Sometimes anesthesia can actually make you feel colder as a side effect, too, so the room might not even be as cold as it feels to you. Your body loses some of the capacity to thermoregulate when you’re put under.

      2. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

        Odd, the one time I did a sleep study (apnea), the lab had a room done up as a regular bedroom, with a queen sized bed with normal sheets.

        I normally don’t wear much at night, but I did bring a pair of gym shorts to wear in addition to underwear, and they seemed to be fine with it.

      3. Modesty Poncho*

        Mine was exactly the opposite! I was so hot that the tech had to wake me up and adjust the electrodes because my sweat was interfering with the study. All they had was a fan on full blast. It was the worst.

        Maybe in both cases they should be asking patients for their preferred temperature!

      4. Anon Y. Mouse*

        Ugh I would have killed for a too cold room, last one I did the room was blazing hot, and the ceiling fan couldn’t be turned on because the blades would hit the fire sprinklers!

    7. Charlotte Lucas*

      This makes sense to me. And if you don’t tell people, they won’t know. (My dad only had one pair of pajamas, reserved for when he was sick. Otherwise, he slept in his underwear. He absolutely would not think to bring something else unless told. And he would not have meant anything improper by it.

      Luckily, he has been married twice to practical women who would have asked the right questions or just packed his pajamas for him.

    8. RabbitRabbit*

      Yeah, I don’t really believe that a major medical facility isn’t already informing them of this. I think many of those patients are lying about “nobody told me” and the rest forgot and/or didn’t read the instructions. People lose stuff, they don’t read things, they read half of it and forget to complete the rest.

      I think the department needs to set up a standing order with their laundry for scrub-type two-piece garments for the patients that can be used as backup for those who “forget.”

    9. Oxford Comma*

      For the ones I’ve done, they sent me a list of what to bring and what to expect which I really appreciated.

    10. PhyllisB*

      It seems to me that instead of suggesting hospital gowns, they have scrubs for people who don’t have pj’s. Much more comfortable than a gown, and more modest, too.

    11. I'm just here for the cats!*

      I wonder if the clients are just SAYING that no one told them to bring PJ’s. Either they thought they could get away without them or they didn’t read instructions fully.

    12. SS*

      Agreed. Further, I believe my instructions explicitly said that individuals who do not bring appropriate sleepwear will be rescheduled.

    13. tree frog*

      I just did one recently and there were a bunch of instructions, including that you can’t sleep naked. I’m surprised the LW’s clinic isn’t sending this out as a matter of course.

    14. I Have RBF*

      Same here.

      Every sleep study I’ve had has asked me to bring pajamas. You change in the bathroom, because there are cameras in the sleeping area. The expectation is that you won’t be sleeping nude, because you will be monitored by camera all night.

      The fact that your clinic doesn’t put this in their prep materials id really odd, and sloppy.

    15. Free Meerkats*

      I’ve never had a sleep study done, but mine wouldn’t be representative if I did under these requirements. I sleep nude, have since I was a teen {mumbledy, mumbledy} years ago. At most I wear compression shorts if I’m sharing a room with other than my wife. I can’t sleep with clothing on unless I’m completely exhausted. Loose fitting is an absolute no, the binding and wrinkling would mean I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

    16. Anna*

      The sleep study I did a few years ago did NOT say to bring pajamas. But, of course, I wore a T-shirt and shorts. And I had a few things I thought I might need at night like my kindle, an extra blanket, and a bottle of water. But when I checked in, I noticed a lot of the other patients checking in had absolutely nothing with them. No bag, empty hands. I thought they were freaks because I thought they were going to sleep in their jeans. Now that I know they may have been planning to just take everything off… ergh. So gross. What an entitled way to behave.

  2. Testing*

    #1: I’m not sure that measuring someone’s sleep in not just a completely different environment but also a completely different clothing than they normally sleep in is useful. And I wonder what the OP means with “the situation could easily be misconstrued” — this is a healthcare setting, nothing else.

    Of course, if there is ever any inappropriateness from the patients towards the staff, that’s a serious matter! If not, I have a sense that the OP needs to get used working with humans, in a medical setting, where the patients are actually quite vulnerable and need to feel at ease. Yes, complete nudity would be too much, but underwear is very normal.

    1. zz*

      Have you ever had a sleep study? Nothing about is like normal sleep. Wearing a t-shirt and shorts when you normally sleep nude is going to be the smallest of the ways that it’s not like sleeping at home.

      1. Jammies Please*

        I love the “morning after” survey where they’re like “how’d you sleep?!” me: like sh*t.

        1. Ex-Teacher*

          My first study was 100% like that- one of the worst sleeps of my life.

          My CPAP titration study, though, was amazing. Took me a bit to actually fall asleep, but almost instantaneously I woke up. Except it was after 6am, and the tech was in the room beginning to take the equipment down, and I felt so refreshed I could run a marathon. Truly the best sleep I had ever had in my life to that point. Turns out that breathing properly in your sleep makes sleep refreshing.

          1. lilsheba*

            Same here. I’ve been on cpap now for 25 years and can’t imagine being without it. I still fight sleepiness and fatigue but I also have a host of other conditions contributing to that.

      2. Oxford Comma*

        This was my experience too, lol. I got there at 8pm and they wanted me to try and sleep right away after they had me hooked up to a zillion sensors. Then they wanted me out of there at 5am. What I was wearing was the last of my concerns.

    2. Carl*

      I don’t think you can work in a quasi medical area, and expect to never see anyone in underwear.

      Just pretend you are at the beach and they are wearing swim wear, if that helps. If I were the boss here, I would find a request for full body jammies to be very prudish.

      1. Circe*

        I agree. I had to get my torso photographed recently for a surgery, so I had to be rather naked in front of a guy with a camera. He’s not a nurse either, just a photographer. *shrug* We both survived the ordeal.

        Conflating “naked” with “wearing underwear” isn’t helpful or accurate either.

        1. Myrin*

          Conflating “naked” with “wearing underwear” isn’t helpful or accurate either.

          Are you referring to OP? Because as far as I can see, she only says “strip down to their tightie-whities or state they sleep naked”, which specifically doesn’t conflate the two. Or am I missing something?

      2. bamcheeks*

        Yes, some nudity is inevitable in many health settings, but if you generalise from “some nudity is inevitable” to “so anything goes”, that’s extremely dodgy for both staff and patients! Most nudity is carefully managed, which keeps the encounter professional and protects both staff and patients. Making sure that patients have the right information and providing alternative gowns/pyjamas is a completely normal part of that.

        1. HannahS*

          Yeah, absolutely. Sleep techs are entering the room of a sleeping person and adjusting equipment, and possibly touching the patient in order to access electrodes, etc while the person (ideally) remains asleep. No one in healthcare should be touching someone who is naked and asleep; it’s too vulnerable of a position for both.

          I think we’re also completely side-stepping the fact that the OP identifies that it’s mainly men who do this, while the staff are mostly female. That’s not an irrelevant detail. I’ve met many a male patient who feels only too comfortable being exposed around me but will cover up for a male doctor.

      3. RagingADHD*

        They aren’t requesting full body jammies. The LW is requesting a hospital gown. Like you wear in a hospital, or for any other medical procedure.

        Nobody is hanging around the facility in the buff when they get a mammogram or colonoscopy. If a particular body part needs to be examined / worked on, that gets uncovered at the time. And for a sleep study, the part of you that needs to be exposed is (briefly) the areas getting electrodes attached, which can all be reached perfectly well in a hospital gown, pjs, tee shirt and shorts, etc.

        1. raktajino*

          Hell, whenever I get checked for moles, my primary care provider moves the gown around to uncover segments of my body at a time. I have moles all over my body, so I feel a little like she’s using a spotlight to do a forest search and rescue: what if she skips a spot? But that’s her procedure, she doesn’t need any more nudity than than that 6″ x 6″ patch at a time.

    3. Linda Johnson*

      I’m surprised this person got this far without some discussion of patient nudity and the related expectations of the staff. People in a medical setting are vulnerable and the best providers are matter of fact about bodies and bodily functions.

      Yes, I’m surprised that the center doesn’t offer some instructions about sleepwear but a lot of people, me included, sleep better in the nude. Fortunately for me, when I did a sleep study I was able to do it at home.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I had to do a sleep study recently and was worried because I sleep in underwear only; sleeping with even just a t-shirt on makes me wake up constantly and feel too hot and annoyed by fabric (thanks, sensory issues) to fall into a deep sleep. I was happy to learn I could do it at home, but wonder how accurate they expect them to be if people can’t recreate home sleeping conditions on even a clothing level.

        1. nodramalama*

          If you do a sleep study at a sleep centre its not going to be anything like your natural environment anyway so thats usually not a massive concern.

          1. cabbagepants*

            can you elaborate on why it’s not a concern? Just because something is common doesn’t mean that it leads to the best outcomes.

            1. Wintermute*

              exactly, it is for the ease of the medical system and turnover, but it DOES lead to worse clinical data, misdiagnosis, and underestimation of severity of symptoms (because if you’re sleeping lightly you are less likely to have apnea or a night terror among other things).

              This hurts people. They just have decided it’s worth it.

              1. Observer*

                exactly, it is for the ease of the medical system and turnover,

                Not true. Yes, there are some issues. But fundamentally, if you need that kind of study, it’s just not possible for it to be anywhere near normal. Being hooked up to a bunch of electrodes that are connected to “something” is just going to make *anyone’s* sleep different. And so is the fact that you are sleeping in a totally strange place. Even the ones that try to provide a space that doesn’t look quite like a hospital. The bed is different, the lighting is different, etc. It can’t be helped.

                Now, it you don’t need all that and can do it at home? That’s a double win for everyone.

            2. Nodramalama*

              Because it’s likely the lowest on the list of conditions that are different from home.

        2. Arthenonyma*

          As someone who has had more than one sleep study (at home and in hospital) I can confirm that it is fully expected that no one will sleep normally – even in the at home one you’re covered in wires with an oximeter strapped to your hand! Even if you have the worst night’s sleep of your life, things like narcolepsy and sleep apnea have pretty clear indicators that will show up if you get any sleep at all.

          1. Anny for this*

            Sure, stuff that cuts in at five minutes can be diagnosed after five minutes. But, “I wake up bolt upright with my heart pounding madly and music playing loudly in my head approximately 3.5 hours after I fall asleep” can’t. REM disorders, circadian disorders, metabolic disorders that manifest at night, these should all be documentable in a well constructed, well-administered sleep study. But they won’t be at a center that mostly exists to verify apnea for CPAP prescriptions.

            I can and do fall asleep for 4+ hours with monitoring equipment, just as I can sleep with a cast or medical brace or 24 hour heart monitor electrodes.

            I can’t fall asleep for 4+ hours at 8 pm, wearing jammies. The essential aspects are not the problem; the social niceties and standardized scheduling are 100% the problem.

            1. run mad; don't faint*

              I agree. My husband had a sleep study done several years ago for two things: sleep apnea and a REM disorder. The sleep apneaanifeated beautifully, to the point that the tech woke my husband up and said that he was under instructions to give him a CPAP to try while he was there. Husband got virtually no sleep the rest of the night trying to make the CPAP work and we never got any data on the REM disorder. It was actually rather frustrating for both of us.

          2. anon for this*

            Yeah, this. Sleeping while wearing any kind of monitoring equipment, whether at home or in a sleep lab, is just not going to replicate a person’s normal sleep conditions. I did a home sleep study and had an absolutely terrible time falling asleep with the equipment on. They still got sufficient results to diagnose sleep apnea.

            I can see that some commenters here are dealing with more complex and difficult to diagnose conditions and that the sleep study conventions don’t serve you well. Believe me, I sympathize, because that sucks. But a lot of that frustration seems to be spilling over on the OP.

            1. sparkle emoji*

              I think this is a good point. There may be issues with the way sleep studies are handled, but that doesn’t make the LW an unreasonable prude for wanting to deal with clothed people in the workplace.

              1. Ink*

                This. A lot about aspects unrelated to the question and that techs have zero control over generally.

              2. Allonge*

                Even more importantly, it does not make it in any way bad for OP to ask about the rules around this.

                If the nudity is part of the medical procedure, that should then be explained, but also what OP can do in situations where someone seems to be abusing this.

                I am really wondering why people seem to think OP has any influence on how the tests are conducted – if there is no ‘must sleep in PJs’ rule, it’s very unlikely they will make one just based on a question.

        3. Boo bear*

          Yep, same here, ish- if I’m wearing anything other than undies (and sometimes even those don’t work out), there’s about a 30% chance any clothing will trigger a weird hyper-heat response; I’ll wake up covered in sweat, with the offending item freshly thrown to the floor. I could never do a sleep study at a hospital for fear of sleep-stripping and soaking the bed in sweat. And I sure as hell would NEVER share a hotel room with a coworker!!

      2. JM60*

        I too was able to do a sleep study at home (though I don’t think my clothing habits when sleeping would’ve been a problem if I had to do it at a sleep center).

        I think this is the type of job where they need to either make it very clear to the patients that they need to be clothed during the appointment, or they need to be very clear to job candidates that this is a job that involves interacting with naked people on occasion. The OP’s employer didn’t do either.

      3. Sherm*

        I failed going to sleep in my first sleep (or lack thereof) study, so I admit I do have some sympathy for wanting to recreate how one normally sleeps as much as possible. (I don’t think people should be buck naked, though. Maybe a pair of underwear that covers as much as gym shorts do.)

      4. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

        Linda, my professor discussed patient nudity before we started clinical rotations. She made it clear that it is inappropriate. She also instructed us not to drop wires down inside the sides of a patients pj pants because pulling their waistband away from their body could be misconstrued as sexual harassment. To be clear, my professors are both sleep techs and my lab instructor also manages a sleep lab. Sleep studies are voluntary and optional in outpatient facilities. If an adult patient refuses clothing they are free to leave, and we are under no obligation to treat disrespectful people.

    4. Anonys*

      If you google a few sleep centers you will find that all of them that have their patient instructions online explicitly state that it’s not ok to sleep nude for the study and pajamas must be worn. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for OP to expect her lab to adhere to something that is absolutely the norm in the industry.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Thank you. The number of comments here insisting that people must be allowed to be nude for the results to be useful, when in fact it’s contrary to standard industry practice designed by people far more informed than us about what is and isn’t germane to the results, is bizarre.

        1. Hiring Mgr*

          I’m sure the majority of commenters have never been in a sleep study, so it’s not surprising that most of us wouldn’t know what standard practice is.

          What I don’t get is why LW’s colleagues or bosses haven’t told her what the norms or rules are.

        2. Stuff*

          I mean, there’s a lot of reasons to be skeptical of industry standards within the American healthcare system. There are a ton of practices in healthcare that aren’t good for patients, and I don’t automatically assume the way things are done is good because qualified people determined it anymore. Though I don’t know how universal pajama requirements really are, anyway. I have had a sleep study and I sleep in only underwear, and my sleep center’s rules were just that you couldn’t be naked, being in your underwear was fine. That seems like a much more reasonable norm because I can’t sleep in a shirt without it getting so tangled it would mess with the electrodes, anyway.

          1. Noks*

            ‘There are a ton of practices in healthcare that aren’t good for patients’
            Conflating actual medical malpractice and problems with outdated medical care with being inconvenienced for a bit is exactly the bizarre reaction being called out here. You are not at the testing centre to get a comfortable night’s sleep, you are there to receive medical treatment, those are sometimes uncomfortable. That is not too pester you, you are there for your own good they are just trying to help. Showing basic respect for the people working there is not too much to ask, and suggesting it is unreasonable to ask that of you is pretty entitled.

        3. Shan*

          The comments on this post are absolutely WILD. I was absolutely not expecting the direction things took when I scrolled down to read the comments.

          1. Siege*

            After the post a couple years ago about how (according to commenters) falling asleep in meetings is NORMAL and employees should be able to do what they WANT and how dare you schedule meetings for after lunch and expect your employees STAY AWAKE, it has absolutely gone in the direction I expected. I’m just reading the comments with some popcorn. How dare anyone who is me, the main character, be required to compromise!

    5. Gretta Swathmore*

      A lot (most?) sleep studies are done at home now. I’ve had a few, and only the last one was done in clinic. For nightmares, not apnea!

    6. Also-ADHD*

      The misconstrued did seem odd to me, honestly, though I understand the sentiment.

      I will say that I see both sides—I understand patients wanting to sleep how they actually sleep (even if naked, particularly in underwear which isn’t really naked) and I understand that making LW uncomfortable. (Not how it could be misconstrued, necessarily, but how it could be awkward or feel problematic to many workers, especially non clinical folks.) I think this is an issue that should definitely be more clearly established either way—a hospital gown seems a poor solution, especially if patients aren’t being notified. And I think if the practice is allowing folks to sleep how they normally sleep, that’s fine but they should tell new hires and practicing students that some patients may be nude or in underwear since LW didn’t expect that. I do think most sleep studies these days request pjs but I think LW is maybe going too far being aghast (if people aren’t notified) at individuals thinking they’ll show up and sleep how they usually sleep.

    7. TracyXP*

      Husband has had multiple sleep studies done to try to get some help for sleep apnea. One of them, the building was next to a busy hospital and highway, with very thin walls, so constant noise of ambulances, etc. And the technician was blasting loud rap music the whole night. No diagnoses was made because my husband never fell asleep.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          Or maybe talk to them first and let them know the music was keeping a patient up? People don’t always recognize when something is too loud.

          1. Raisin Walking to the Moon*

            Yeah, imagine if the sentence read, “And the technician was blasting Puccini’s Madame Butterfly the whole night,” nobody would jump to saying they should be fired.

    8. Meliara*

      I’ve had multiple sleep studies and despite not ever sleeping in clothes at home, I still managed to wear the requested two-piece pjs for those nights. A sleep study is inevitably going to be uncomfortable for the patient- there’s no reason that we can’t make one more small adjustment so the employees don’t have to spend 45 mins inches away from our bare skin as they glue the electrodes on.

      I feel like the comments insisting “sleep techs should be comfortable with full nudity because this is a medical field” are skimming past just how close the tech has to be to you and for how long. How often do we demand doctors spend 10 mins at eye level with our bare junk to glue electrodes to our legs ?

      1. Silver Robin*

        surgeries, injuries, and lots of non medical services (massage, beauty) happen in all sorts of places. you can cover the bits while electrodes are being applied with a towel or sheet and then patient can remove or adjust that afterwards as necessary.

        I am not sure where I fall on this; I think I am on the side of “employer needs to choose one and be more explicit either to employees or to patients”. I just wanted to point out that this particular concern is a solved problem.

      2. Nonanon*

        You can be comfortable with nudity/bits/bodies without thinking full nudity is 100% appropriate for every scenario. I get bikini waxes, and due to my waxer’s style, she prefers underwear off. If I was full nude to get my EYEBROWS waxed, I would expect my waxer to have some issues, and possibly even tell me to get dressed before she started my appointment. Same thing here; if I am doing a intimate exam, sure, gown off bits out, but if my phlebotomist comes to me and tells me too many people are taking their shirts off to get a draw, can we do something, that’s an issue.

      3. Distracted Procrastinator*

        They are also ignoring the multiple people who have said that the industry norm is to expect patients to wear some type of loose clothing (pajamas, etc.) for the study. Yes, people having medical procedures will sometimes have to be naked, but those are carefully controlled and only when it’s not possible to be clothed for the procedure.

    9. Mmm.*

      This was my thought as well. You’re already gonna be so unable to replicate your own sleep–why take away the one thing they can control? I’d imagine even having a stuffed animal could interfere with equipment!

      In ANY medical field, I’d expect nudity from time to time. I’m trying to think of a single one where it would be totally unexpected, and all I can think of are opthalmology and podiatry. Maybe some private practice specialties as opposed to hospital ones.

      I can understand not wanting any bits or tits out, but if you can’t see underwear without thinking it could be at all sexual, it may be worth looking into a different field.

      1. Quentin*

        “In ANY medical field, I’d expect nudity from time to time.”

        OP specifies that they are not a medical practitioner. They are a technician and they are not medically trained. This is like exposing your naked self to the plumber. Sure, bathrooms are places that often see a lot of nudity – but the fact the plumber is working in the bathroom doesn’t mean they should have to see your naked ass!

        1. DrSalty*

          They are not a medical provider but they work in medicine. It’s totally different from the plumbing analogy.

        2. skadhu*

          Uh, being a medical technician doesn’t automatically mean avoiding nudity by definition. The person doing an ultrasound or a mammogram is a technician, not a medical professional, and they do have to see and in some cases handle uncovered bits.

          1. blah*

            And LW isn’t an ultrasound or mammogram technician! If they reasonably don’t expect to deal with nude patients, they shouldn’t have to.

            1. skadhu*

              Didn’t suggest they should. My point was that saying that a blanket statement that technician never sees nudity because they are a technician, not a “medical professional”, is simply not true.

          2. Former Imaging Technologist*

            no, the people who do ultrasounds or mammograms are medical professionals, and they are not technicians. you have to have an associates degree to do these things in the US. formal education =/= technician. we take classes on human anatomy & physiology, medical physics, gen eds., all that stuff.

      2. raktajino*

        > if you can’t see underwear without thinking it could be at all sexual

        TBH, it’s only/mostly men who are making a fuss about sleeping naked or in underwear alone. I suspect OP’s not the one bringing sexual undertones and assumptions into the interactions.

      3. Nodramalama*

        Just because medical practitioners need to be comfortable about nudity does not require them to be comfortable around nudity all the time when it is not required for the procedure. When I last got an ultrasound I had to take my top off for it. It would not have been unprofessional if the technician asked me to put my top back on after the procedure and did not want my boobs out as he discussed the results.

      4. Laura*

        Really? You’d expect nudity from time to time in ANY medical field? In optometry? In audiology?

        1. Head sheep counter*

          One ponders the nude audiology appointment… with optometry… perhaps one can’t read the signs/nor the room? how about a podiatrist?

    10. Observer*

      And I wonder what the OP means with “the situation could easily be misconstrued” — this is a healthcare setting, nothing else.

      Yes indeed. Are you really saying that neither misbehavior nor accusations of misbehavior ever happen in those settings?

  3. nnn*

    Another scripting option for #1 is “Is there a reason why we don’t tell patients to bring pyjamas or let them sleep in hospital gowns?” You could also maybe mention “a number of patients have mentioned to me that no one told them to bring pyjamas”.

    That takes the “It makes me uncomfortable” aspect out of it (unfair as it in, in some situations people who express that they’re uncomfortable are seen as less credible), could be nudged in the direction of being about patient comfort, and also could be nudged in the direction of wanting to learn about why things are done they way they are (a good look in a student) rather than telling your new employer they’re doing it wrong (not always a good look in a student).

    1. kiki*

      Yeah, I think this could be a smart move. And while LW thinks bringing pajamas or comfortable clothes to sleep in should be common sense, I could see how folks might assume there will be medical gowns or something similar provided. Since the participants even say that nobody told them to bring pajamas, I think LW has good standing to suggest it be added to patient instructions. And if it turns out they are already telling participants to bring pajamas, there probably needs to be a reminder or something added. So often doctors send SO MUCH paperwork before any sort of procedure or study– it’s easy for an important note to get buried in all the info or forgotten the day-of.

    2. RabbitRabbit*

      I’d go with something like “A third (or however many) of the male patients are claiming they were never told to bring in sleepwear” because I don’t personally believe that no one at a major medical center is telling the patients otherwise. Either one of the staff assigned to give out pre-procedure medical material is slacking/not including all of the handouts, or (more likely IMO) the patients are forgetting or lying about forgetting.

      And I think their department does need to set up a supply of two piece wear in different sizing (even scrub-type garments) for this situation.

    3. Madame Señora*

      I have $5 that says the clinic does instruct patients to bring pyjamas and the patients either ignore it or miss it in a long list of instructions. There’s always going to be a certain percentage of people who will say things like, “They never told me” even though they most certainly did tell them.

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        This is where I’m at. I bet they are being told, and some patients forget, or ‘forget’.

      2. Daisy-dog*

        Yeah, I had a recent procedure done and was hyper-focused on one requirement that I forgot to read the back of that page which had another requirement. Thankfully, that one was easy to add last minute.

      3. Observer*

        I have $5 that says the clinic does instruct patients to bring pyjamas and the patients either ignore it or miss it in a long list of instructions

        True. But in that case the LW has standing to push back on the patients who come with no clothing. And also, that means that these people *are* being creeps or difficult because they are doing something they were specifically told not to.

      4. run mad; don't faint*

        Yes. This made me think about the way the local hospital/clinic handles colonoscopy instructions. Not only do they give you written instructions when they make the appt, they also schedule a phone call with you a few days in advance where they go over everything verbally. They’re aware that people may get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of info, or forget or just not read it all. It’s worth it to them to do this so the day’s schedule goes as smoothly as possible. If OP finds out their clinic is telling everyone in advance, follow up phone calls might be a worthwhile suggestion given the number of people who come in unprepared.

    4. RagingADHD*

      The thing about expecting people to exercise common sense is that needing a sleep study probably means you’re dealing with pretty severe sleep deprivation or other sleep issues. Those affect your memory and attention to detail. Sleep issues either occur in the brain, or drastically affect the brain.

      All patients, and in particular patients who are having issues related to the brain, need very simple, clear instructions because their common sense is probably not on point at the time.

      1. I Have RBF*


        My instructions were in a bulleted list that had the sleepwear and times to arrive near the top, IIRC.

  4. How to keep my change in my pocket if gravity reversed.*

    Welp, I just googled it and the first couple of hits say that patients are required to wear two-piece pjs, not even a nightgown for a sleep study. Call me surprised. I kind of thought they would want you to sleep as naturally as possible (as in, what you normally do or don’t wear) to get a baseline reading of how you normally sleep. Do they also make you sleep on your back in a sleep study? Uggggg. So, it would seem in the US that wearing clothing is standard (I would not expect that internationally since my experience internationally is you don’t get a gown during a gynecology appointment). But perhaps, as one is asking management to reinforce the rules that probably already exist, or provide backup options, it would also be useful to reframe the idea that it’s “creepy”. They tell you to bring pillow and blanket form home to be cozy, why wouldn’t lots of us nude sleepers think we’re supposed to get comfortable if we missed that in the guidelines? Not every nude man is trying to be creepy. Nor nude woman, such as myself.

    1. Pink Sprite*

      When I did my sleep study about 15-16 years ago, yes, I had to sleep on my back. I NEVER do so at home. It definitely contributed to my bad score.

      1. Emmy Noether*

        Huh. I have never succcssfully fallen asleep on my back since I can remember. And my generation was put on their belly to sleep as babies, so maybe I haven’t ever.

    2. nodramalama*

      I think its fairly commonsense to understand that trying to mirror how you sleep at home is going to be limited by the fact that other people are observing you and you are not sleeping in the comfort of your own home.

      1. Trice*

        Of course it’s common sense that sleep testing in a lab will be different from a night at home, but that doesn’t mean (at least to me) that a patient should give up expectations of normalcy for non-medical factors.

    3. Decidedly Me*

      Very little about a sleep study will be like your normal sleep (I’ve had 3 or 4 of them at this point). For one, I was even prescribed a sleep aid – despite never having taken it before (or any other prescription sleep aid). I thought that would have affected the results and was surprised to be told it wouldn’t. It’s likely related to exactly what they were looking for on that one, which I don’t recall, but still interesting.

      1. SimonTheGreyWarden*

        This was my experience. My first sleep study, I was wearing a mask (it was a sleep apnea study). I didn’t feel comfortable asking for a different mask and I had panic attacks all night fighting that thing on my face bc I have severe claustrophobia. Surprising no one, that test was a bust. My second test, they used a different mask and gave me a sedative. That test worked.

    4. Cmdrshprd*

      “They tell you to bring pillow and blanket form home to be cozy,”

      this was not my experience, I remember being told I couldn’t bring anything from home.

      the whole situation is already a bit outside the norm that you won’t get a true baseline. so I think asking people to wear clothes is fine.

      I was a side sleeper, and had to sleep on my back. I think it is just. a virtue of how the electrodes work, they can fall off on your side.

      that is the reason for OP they techs come in and hook you back up when they fall off. that is when they would likely see someone naked.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        Having to sleep on your back all night for a study sounds so unpleasant. I’ve tried it before and have woken up curled up on my side every time.

    5. Anonys*

      I would assume the “no nudity in the sleep lab” rule to be pretty international. Obviously can’t know for sure but did a quick google of German sleep labs (a notoriously nudity friendly culture) and they said to bring pajamas as well. One website also made the point that sleeping in the nude was not allowed for hygiene reasons – I assume they don’t want anyone’s bodily fluids to get on the lab provided bedding.

      1. KateM*

        Huh, I’d think that pajamas won’t really stop serious bodily fluids (and also that they wash/change the bedding between patients).

      2. JSPA*

        Are you saying they can’t and don’t wash and bleach sheets at least as well as motels and hotels do?

      3. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

        That’s ridiculous. Medical facilities are very good at sterilizing sheets. There are other reasons for asking patients not to be fully nude for sleep studies (but underwear is not nudity!), but that’s not one.

        1. Anonys*

          I am just saying that on the website of at least one sleep clinic I found, hygiene was explicitly listed as a reason for why they require pajamas. I am not personally saying it’s unhygienic. They did not explain the unhygienic part further. Since I assume they thoroughly wash the sheets after every use, I would guess this the hygiene requirements is more for the comfort of the staff – ie if the patients wear pajamas staff is less likely to have to deal with sheets that are wet from sweat or discharge.

        2. Not-So-New Mom (of 1 8/9)*

          +1. I was talking recently to a Mom-to-be who wanted to bring some of her own things to the hospital to avoid “hospital germs.” I told her there’s good reasons to BYO pillow if you want, but the hospital probably has fewer germs than your own house!

    6. Peachtree*

      LOL, you wouldn’t expect clothing in the rest of the world … because of one experience you had internationally? You know that the rest of the world is not homogenous either, right?

      1. Emmy Noether*

        Also, even places that are generally much more blasé about nudity (hi, Germany speaking here!) are still time-and-place about it. It’s not “anything goes”. Like, I don’t even see the point of a gown during gyn appointments*, but we still get told to bring sleepwear for hospital stays, and I presume sleep studies.

        *generally at the gyn we just get told to disrobe the lower half, get that examined, then dress the lower half and disrobe uptop – that way one doesn’t ever feel completely naked, and there’s no need for wasteful and awkward gowns.

        1. Noks*

          Yeah, I don’t see why you’d need a gown for the gyno, as you just take off pants, not get fully naked.

          Then again, I also don’t see how to take the poster above seriously when they think getting naked for the gyno, who actually deals with your private bits, and getting naked for a sleep study, for which it is completely unnecessary, are somehow a reasonable comparison.

          1. Seeking Second Childhood*

            For what it’s worth, US gyn appointments usually do breast exams as well. so yes tops come off too.

    7. Thomas*

      A comment above mentioned that some ‘sleep studies’ are very narrowly focused on diagnosing specific conditions, often sleep apnea. A normal night’s sleep isn’t required for that purpose, and sleeping in a certain position might be.

    8. I should really pick a name*

      Do they also make you sleep on your back in a sleep study?

      Not in the one I did.
      And the sensors included data on whether I was on my right, left, or back at a given time.

    9. Papper Person*

      I did an at-home sleep study last year for suspected sleep apnea. They specifically recommended trying to sleep on your back for at least a little while, because back sleeping tends to make apnea worse and they want to see the worst it can get.

      Regarding clothing, there is a practical need outside of modesty (even for at home test). My monitor kit needed to be hooked on a shirt to stay in place, so I’m not sure how well that would work for sleeping shirtless (or for a stomach sleeper, for that matter). The constrictor bands that measure chest movement would also be uncomfortable without a shirt.

    10. Art of the Spiel*

      I have a deviated septum and had a mild cold at the time, I couldn’t even breathe while laying on my side, but they insisted I had to stay that way for a while to get oxygen measurements.

      Sleep studies are NEVER going to be like sleeping at home, but they don’t have to be! They’re not measuring how deeply or how refreshingly you sleep. They’re seeing if you breathe.

    11. Observer*

      Do they also make you sleep on your back in a sleep study?

      Technically, not. But with some of the studies (depending on how may sensors are being used and where they are being put), you wind up not really having much choice.

  5. CL*

    #1 – what does the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) say on the matter? Professional associations are great resources for this type of question because I’m sure you are not the first person to ask.

    1. Andromeda*

      not thrilled with people who don’t have experience in the field ragging on #1 for not wanting to see patients naked — after she said she went into the field because she knew she didn’t have to expect it there. If her expectations are legitimately out of whack, sure, but most people are just going “well this is what happened when I was in a sleep study one time”.

      1. bamcheeks*

        Yes, I am also wide-eyed at the people who think that medical and clinical staff don’t get to have any boundaries around nudity or respect at work. Yes, lots of clinical staff have seen it all before and are pretty blase about nudity. Yes, the patient is generally the more vulnerable party in patient/clinician encounters. That doesn’t mean that clinical staff don’t get to have any standards for appropriate behaviour and what they are comfortable dealing with at work!

        1. Dek*

          You get to have boundaries, but it also seems inappropriate to frame patients as creepy for thinking they can sleep in their underwear if that’s how they usually sleep.

          1. Andromeda*

            I agree that, especially in a clinical setting, being in underwear is definitely a different level of vulnerable to being naked (on both the patient and clinician side).

            BUT OP says that she expected not to have to deal with naked/almost-naked people at work, and that was part of the reason she chose the specialism she did. According to the commenting rules we should take her at her word that her expectations for her field are right, *especially* if you’re not in the field yourself. Combine that with the fact that it’s almost all men who do this and yeah, she definitely doesn’t deserve the pile-on she’s getting in some comments by people who are just assuming stuff

            1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

              Amen to this!

              I just can’t with the way some people are (contrary to the rules here!) refusing to take the LW at her word about a whole bunch of things. People need to cut that out!

      2. House On The Rock*

        This also isn’t just “nudity encountered during medical practice”, like doing a physical exam, OP specifically talks about getting “creepy” vibes from male patients and how they interact with the female presenting staff. This feels much more than “normal nudity squicks me out”, and it’s a little odd that that part isn’t addressed. Most practices now will offer “chaperones” for the safety and comfort of both clinicians and patients. This might also be an option for OP.

        1. Myrin*

          Yeah, that’s the sense I get from the whole letter, even though OP doesn’t ever come out and directly state it.

          Now granted, what she does say is “strip down to their tightie-whities or state they sleep naked. In my opinion, this is incredibly inappropriate. Not only is it creepy…” and I don’t agree that simply disrobing or stating neutrally that you usually sleep naked is inherently creepy or inappropriate – if that’s indeed what OP means, I do think she would need to do some adjusting of expectations and views. BUT I’m getting the distinct vibe that these men are intentionally using this setting and their sleeping practice to be creeps.

          Admittedly, that’s going against my usual modus operandi of not over-interpreting or even saying “OP says X but they probably mean Y”, which I hate, but in this case… I don’t know, it’s possible that OP needs to relax with regards to nudity in general and in her job in particular, but given that my best friend is a doctor and has told me numerous times that there’s a certain type of man (and apparently a not-huge-but-also-not-negligible amount of women!) who will absolutely take the opportunity of even a bit of nudity in a medical setting to be lecherous and inappropriate with staff, I’m not willing to be quite as critical of her here.

          1. House On The Rock*

            I work at an academic medical center in a non-clinical capacity (think managing IT staff). For compliance purposes we are required to take a number clinically-focused training. There are a number that focus on how to deal with/prevent patients being inappropriate with providers. It’s unfortunately not uncommon and from what I understand it happens more with perceived “lower level” providers, like technicians. I also try to stay away from LW Fan Fiction, but in this case it seems pretty obvious that at least some of these patients are being skeevy and the facility should be doing more to guard against that.

            1. Madame Señora*

              I was thinking the same thing. It’s not just “things can get misconstrued” or “false allegations.” Things can get construed just fine. Sexual harassment by patients is an unfortunately common experience for healthcare providers. If you work with enough people, some of them are going to be creepers. Not all nudity is creepy, but creepy people will use nudity to creep. It’s sad but true.

            2. Cmdrshprd*

              “but in this case it seems pretty obvious that at least some of these patients are being skeevy and the facility should be doing more to guard against that.”

              But even if some people are not actually being skeevy and they are being 100% truthful about how they sleep at home, it would be understandable for OP to feel a bit uncomfortable and the company should work against that still. Even if no one was being skeevy (not saying that is the case, but for arguments sake) the company should still address it.

          2. RegBarclay*

            Yes, it’s weird how in the comment section people are forgetting that there ARE people (mostly men) who will deliberately be lecherous in this kind of situation. They have an excuse to be naked around a woman who has to touch their body in the course of her job.

            I’m sure most of the people that don’t bring PJs are just oblivious, but some will be creepy. And it’s not like you know in advance who it will be.

  6. nnn*

    Reading #4, when I saw GSD, I thought “German Shepherd Dog”. So now I’m imagining misconstruing the invitation and bringing a German Shepherd Dog to the meeting.

    (Don’t actually do this.)

    (But if you do, send pictures)

    1. urguncle*

      Alternatively, a German Shepherd Dog meeting is one where you hyperfocus on something and then reward yourself by chewing on something you’re not supposed to.
      If it were a Lab meeting, you’d be able to treat yourself to nice sock snack.
      A Husky meeting and you can just leave, but you should do it in the most destructive and inconvenient way possible.

      1. Lab Boss*

        A Malmute meeting? You can only have them in winter, but you go outside and sit in a snow drift and stare through your boss’ window challenging them to make you come back in?

        A Retriever meeting, where you spend most of the time doing exactly one task with hyperfocused intensity but occasionally wander off to the lunch room to stare meaningfully at your coworkers’ food?

        1. Surrogate Tongue Pop*

          A border collie meeting would mostly be trying to get everyone into the meeting room!

        2. Cyborg Llama Horde*

          A greyhound meeting, where possibly you chase squirrels for a few minutes, or maybe you skip that and just flop on your back and fall asleep with all your limbs in the air.

        3. Dinwar*

          For my Malamute (sadly passed away earlier this year) it would be a meeting where you eat anything on the table whether it’s yours or not, then sit in someone’s lap. A hundred pound lap dog is not comfortable!

      2. Yeep*

        Love this because I have a half lab/half husky and I would love to live my life the way he does. He’s a king.

      3. RabbitRabbit*

        Don’t forget for the Husky meeting that you whine and complain as loudly as possible prior to leaving.

      4. Victoria*

        Total tangent, but a rescue recently had to help a large poodle because it swallowed a sock and needed a huge, expensive surgery. My first reaction was surprise that socks could cause blockages in large dogs, because my lab loved them as a pup and I’d often notice the problem only after it popped out the other end. I’ve heard of dogs that ate dozens of them and caused a blockage so I knew to be careful, and thankfully mine only ever had one or at most two at a time when I was forgetful, but if single socks caused blockages in labs then the species would have died out long ago!

        1. Seeking Second Childhood*

          Might depend on material &size—I could easily imagine a digestive between a cotton crew sock for jogging and a 2-layer poly-fleece slipper sock!

          Or it might be another side effect of breeding dogs for looks without paying attention to the effect on health. And that is a tangent fit for Saturday’s open forum.

      5. Distracted Procrastinator*

        A beagle meeting: Everything gets discussed, especially things that don’t need to be decided right now. Bonus points for lengthy tangents. There should be food.

      6. Petty Betty*

        A pibble meeting – lay on the table and beg for everyone’s lunch, then fart when you don’t get the desired lunch. Gas everyone out of the room and steal the desired lunch while everyone’s retreated from the stench.

      7. Kit*

        I wish to have a Chihuahua meeting, where I get to yell at everyone and bite anyone who attempts to move into my personal space. (If it’s my sister’s Chi specifically, I will yell until I am exhausted, take a nap, and then wake up refreshed and ready to yell some more…)

    2. Texan In Exile*

      I want the Cat Meeting, where, instead of accomplishing anything, we all just take a nap on our keyboards.

      1. Petty Betty*

        Or a shitten meeting. Chew up the internet cables so no work can even come in and *then* take a nap after a job well done.

    3. LizW*

      Well, one of my GSD’s likes to get shit done while the other likes to fart around and they both like to socialize…

    4. Petty Betty*

      That’s what I thought, too. I got kind of excited thinking about a puppy meeting. I would absolutely drop everything to go to a puppy meeting. Let me get on the floor and roll around with a bunch of puppies (any breed). And yes, all dogs are puppies, even senior puppies.

    5. Maglev to Crazytown*

      If I ever got invited to a “GSD Meeting”…. ther had better be a whole room of puppies there to cuddle. That is the only acceptable form of a GSD meeting.

    6. Alisaurus*

      The first time someone at a job put one of those on my calendar, I immediately thought “German Shepherd Dog” because (1) I’ve been a dog nerd since I was old enough to know what a dog was (maybe earlier) and (2) I tend not to use profanity in my regular speech.

      I still call them that in my head when I see them, because I can’t unsee it – and technically they’re a working dog who “get stuff done” anyway.

    7. Laura Charles*

      A basenji meeting, where no one says anything so we communicate with meaningful looks, and after a few minutes of high-speed activity, we all crash on the floor to sleep. And the basenji meeting definitely ends with nothing but Irish goodbyes.

      1. Tea Monk*

        Same although I’m not sure what a GSD meeting is and am just imagining people typing paperwork in a room together

        1. theletter*

          In companies that have a heavy meeting culture, sometimes people have to block off time on their calendar in order to get anything done. Sometimes it can be so bad that the manager has to block off their report’s calendar so it’s clear that it’s not something that can be bumped for the party commitee’s pre-party planning commitee meeting to plan parties.

        2. Filosofickle*

          In my experience if it is a meeting set by a boss, it means getting through a punch list — bring in your questions and items that need decisions or signatures and together you focus on knocking them out. As opposed to a presenting / talking meeting.

        3. Ursula*

          Sometimes, yes, that’s what it is, except that it’s a situation where people need to consult with each other frequently. So you might do it to process a certain type of paperwork that is particularly difficult or confusing so that you can immediately get the group consensus on it.

          I’ve also seen it used like someone else said, to get a whole bunch of approvals done in a short time. The main thing is that’s it’s not for big picture discussions, or project updates, socializing, or anything like that. It’s for getting stuff done that needs a particular type of input that is best gotten with everyone together.

    1. DJ Abbott*

      I feel a little put off by the potty mouth aspect of this. Like you say, it could just say get stuff done. It’s unnecessarily crude.
      I’m tempted to respond with, “Ok, I’ll be in the restroom…” :D

      1. L-squared*

        Just curious, do you work in a place where there is never any profanity, like a church or something?

        Because that is pretty mild, and I don’t see why you would be put off, instead of just reframing what it stands for in your mind.

      2. Ally McBeal*

        But LW4’s manager isn’t spelling out “Get S–t Done” in the calendar invite, they’re just marking it “GSD.” Which, as you and others have already pointed out, could just as easily stand for “Get Stuff Done.” Furthermore, if the manager has a potty mouth in general, it’s very simple to let them know that you’re a bit sensitive to profanity and would appreciate that being taken into consideration during meetings & whatnot. I have a potty mouth and find it generally easy to rein that in when I’m around children or religious friends; I once had a boss who does not like being touched so I reined in my impulse to pat on the back or touch her arm during moments of emphasis (our workplace was a nonprofit and everyone except her was touchy-feely).

      3. MicroManagered*

        I think the point is, if it’s just “GSD” and not spelled out, for all you know the S is for “stuff.”

        If you responded “I’ll be in the bathroom” that would be YOU making it about poop.

      4. Cubicles & Chimeras*

        I think there are two thoughts about swearing today:
        – Those who find it off putting/crude
        – Those who treat it like an emphatic part of their vocabulary

        I think there needs to be given some leeway that language changes, and usage changes, and we should be cognizant of that fact. To me “Get Shit Done” isn’t unnecessarily crude, it’s emphasizing the fact we need to get things done in a way “Get Stuff Done” doesn’t. I admit I find “Get Stuff Done” silly, as it sounds like you’re trying to say “Get Shit Done” to 4 year olds, because you don’t need to moderate swear words for adults.

        I am in the latter half of people, I do swear quite a bit as emphasis. I also let most people know that I can code switch and talk to you like you’re my grandmother if swearing bothers people. But just like I shouldn’t assume people are infantilizing adults by saying “Get Stuff Done”, we shouldn’t call people crude because choosing the word “Shit”.

        I do want to say, my Mom absolutely hated my swearing until she read The Tender Bar, which had this spot on quote in it:

        They taught me to say the word “fuck,” gave me this word as if it were a pocketknife or a good suit of clothes, something every boy should have. They showed me the many ways “fuck” could release anger, scare off enemies, rally allies, make people laugh in spite of themselves. They taught me to pronounce it forcefully, gutturally, even gracefully, to get my money’s worth from the word. Why inquire meekly what’s going on, they said, when you can demand, “What the fuck?”

      5. Sneaky Squirrel*

        It reads to me as one of those times an employer/manager tries to be edgy to connect with “the youth”.

      6. DJ Abbott*

        I don’t like it because of the mental image of poop. No one needs that.
        I was trying to make a joke. I should have known the commenters here would take it too seriously.
        When people routinely swear all the time, what will they do to emphasize or vent?

        1. Cubicles & Chimeras*

          I think the reason why the joke didn’t land is most people have divorced the origins from the swear words. Men can be called Bitches. Fuck isn’t related to sex nor is Shit to feces (except when the context says it is).

          But also, health benefits to swearing! So honestly those people are venting regularly by swearing all the time. There’s a lot of studies out there, but this is a great sum up:

          And speaking for myself as someone who swears regularly: If I truly want to insult someone or a situation, I’m not defaulting to swearing. I’m going to get creative in my language choices so they know just how upset I am and usually all of those words could be said in front of my grandma. People know when they’ve pissed me off, I stop swearing.

    2. PhyllisB*

      This reminds me of a friend of mine who’s favorite thing to say was that he had CRS. (Can’t Remember S…t.) My kids were elementary age at the time and asked me what that meant. I told them it meant Can’t Remember Stuff. That was fine until they used the term at school and got in trouble with their teachers. I had to do some explaining to keep them out of the principal’s office.

      1. I'm just here for the cats!*

        OH wow!! why didn’t the teacher or the principle ask your kids what they thought that meant. Thats like working with kids 101. They says something odd or what an adult says is wrong, ask them what they mean or to describe it, and then when the kid says they mean is completely fine you move on and tell the parents that they should maybe tell the kids not to say that.

        1. Observer*

          why didn’t the teacher or the principle ask your kids what they thought that meant. Thats like working with kids 101


          Kids say the weirdest things, and you better believe that they don’t always know what they are saying!

    3. JennG*

      Came in to say this. But also love the dog breed comments above. I have a St Bernard/Bernese cross so that meeting would look like “I will sleep with at minimum a paw on you, but if anyone moves, I’m immediately up and ready to go herd something.” This is what my Teams meetings look like on wfh days.

    4. Blame It On The Weatherman*

      Yeah, there’s no reason OP can’t just decide to take the acronym as Get Stuff Done, for themselves. Like if you’re playing BS and are offended by mild swears, you can decide it’s an abbreviation for “bologna sandwiches” instead of just declining to play the whole card game.

      I get that it’s at work so it’s a little different, and agree that it comes across as very startup-y language, but it’s also the mildest swear we have in English pretty much.

      1. AnonORama*

        I had a mug like that! It said “get it done” until you put in the hot coffee (tea, etc.) and then the heat brought out the S and H. It was fine in my super-casual workplace, until I dropped and broke it. (And probably yelled “shit!” although it was years ago so I don’t actually remember. It wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow in my lunch room.)

    5. Ursula*

      We just call these “working meetings” in anywhere I’ve worked. GSD is cute, but not really necessary.

  7. Pink Sprite*

    To OP 4: There is a reasonably successful book written about 15 years ago called “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. That’s when GTD really took off, though I suspect that and different iterations had been used long before.
    I’ve read parts of it and there are some good examples and ideas.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      I’m sincerely a bit head-scratchy at the idea of holding more meetings to address getting stuff done. Usually what would really help your staff is to have less time in meetings and more time doing the focused work the meeting is about.

      Maybe the idea is to have three agenda items, focus hard on those, and nail down all the details with no detours into whatever is on people’s minds. But my top-line impression is that someone asked “How can we help our staff to be more productive?” and the answer was “We should have additional meetings.”

      1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

        Same! I’ll block time off on my calendar for “focus time” but it is specifically to PREVENT meetings at that time!

      2. Antilles*

        I’ve had plenty of situations where we’ve been trying to make a decision via email/Teams, people are at loggerheads, maybe a couple key people are non-responsive, and the whole thing just isn’t working. So scheduling a “eff it, I’m locking everybody’s ass in a conference room until we figure it out” kind of meeting can kickstart the process of actually solving the issue.

        Not sure it’s particularly useful as a regularly scheduled meeting though, unless your company is so bureaucratic that you run into these situations every two weeks.

      3. Also-ADHD*

        A GSD meeting might replace several other segmented meetings and in that case, I’ve seen it be effective. OR it could be essentially an extension of a standup where there are more barriers to resolve that need multiple stakeholders, focusing on those while preserving the sprint time box for those who aren’t needed for blockers.

      4. Pizza Rat*

        I have had to schedule GSD meetings, though I call them work sessions, because that’s the only way I can get people to collaborate. They don’t make time outside of meetings, even though were encouraged to block off time.

      5. OlympiasEpiriot*

        In my industry these are charrettes and are either one-off monsters of gatherings with sometimes dozens of people and potty and snack breaks OR they are ½ hour or one hour regular spots on a weekly basis to coordinate tasks between disciplines and sometimes structures (like imagine one team designing a station and another team designing tracks & tunnel).

        These are vital, but, we overall have too many meetings and all need to put concentration time block on our calendars that others having crises run roughshod over anyhow.

    2. Lab Boss*

      At a former workplace, 20 years or so ago we referred to dedicated time to push through tasks with no delay as “GIGO Sessions,” a reference to an old (vulgar) folk song whose chorus included the phrase “Get In, Get Out (quit f***ing about).” We were always potentially being overheard by the public and needed something nobody would recognize as standing for a swear word.

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, and of course GIGO also stands for “garbage in, garbage out.” As in, bad data won’t give a good result, no matter how fancy the calculations.

  8. Why, yes, people say I'm silly.*

    GSD can also stand for “Get Stuff Done” or “Get Something Done”. You’re welcome.

  9. ENFP in Texas*

    I would be very surprised if the instructions to the sleep study participants did not already state that they needed to bring sleepwear. If the instructions do not, the OP should talk to management about getting that added. That should be a no-brainer expectation for any professional sleep study.

    Then any participant who claims that they “didn’t know” or they “prefer to sleep nude” or whatever can be told that they must wear sleepwear, and that they were instructed to do so.

    1. Dark Macadamia*

      Yeah, my immediate thought was that they DO tell patients what to wear/bring and they either don’t read it, forget, or pretend they didn’t know because they don’t wanna. I feel like if you raised it as “Do we not tell patients to bring pajamas? It seems like a lot of them come unprepared” you’d get an amused/exasperated confirmation. And if the default attitude is “we tell them but what can ya do” then you could ask if they’ve considered having hospital gowns on hand.

      1. A Girl Named Fred*

        Agreed. As someone who is constantly having to tell people things that they really should have read on our initial communications, you can do your best to be crystal clear, and there’s still going to be someone who didn’t read or misinterpreted.

        1. ENFP in Texas*

          Oh, absolutely. amazing how many people don’t read the instructions. but at least if you have evidence that it was communicated to them, then you have standing to tell them “you will wear acceptable sleep clothes, or you don’t get to have your study. Those are your options.”

    2. El l*

      Yep. Treat it as something that was not mentioned but should have been.

      Because there are jobs where you are paid to see people naked. But this is not one of them.

  10. PDB*

    Every hospital I’ve been in, and I’ve been in a few, had PJs on hand as well as those horrid gowns.

    1. Cheesesteak in Paradise*

      The gowns aren’t an improvement over underwear as they inevitably bunch around your waist and fall off your shoulders, all at the same time. I see people in hospital gowns all the time and their private parts are more visible than not usually.

  11. nodramalama*

    I mean I don’t really get what a ‘get shit done’ meeting IS but i dont think there is an issue with the phrase. Is it just meant to be blocking time in a calendar to smash out tasks that aren’t getting done?

    1. COHikerGirl*

      That’s exactly what it is! You block off time (as long as people respect your calendar) and just plow through. Lots of people also put their headphones on while doing it. (More than one tech company on my resume!)

      I personally work shifted hours and am at the office later than everyone else. My GSD time is between 5-7 when the office is peaceful and empty. Those periods of time are insanely helpful!

    2. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

      I’ve been in working meetings where it really seemed like the person in question just needed me to be a body double for them.

    1. nodramalama*

      Tell me you dont work for a big organisation without telling me. Almost none of my meetings entail getting anything done

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I work for a very large organization and while there are definitely some meetings here and there that don’t accomplish anything, the vast majority of the ones I attend have strict agendas and we work through questions and issues and do lots of analysis and end the meeting when we’re finished rather than dragging the out. Even large companies can have good meeting culture.

        1. nodramalama*

          I was being facetious. It is a well trodden joke that many meetings are unnecessary. Hence the meme “this meeting could have been an email”

          1. The fashionista is gone today*

            Emails get buried in a tsunami of other emails.

            Meetings force people to focus on the task at hand

            1. allathian*

              I’ll believe it when I see it. Our meeting culture’s getting better and the 2:1 my coworker and I have with our manager are great and very productive. The ones with the larger team are often less so, but that’s because there are more participants.

      2. Emmy Noether*

        even in a lot of perfectly functional meetings, one is more likely to make a list of shit that should get done, make decisions about which shit should get done or report on shit that has been done, rather than doing it. Attempting to actually *do* things sitting around as a committee rarely works.

        I’ve witnessed people hunt-and-peck type a document that they want “done” in a meeting while everyone watched and it just about made me lose my mind.

        Now, setting a “meeting” where you are unavailable to anyone else, but really just work on stuff in parallel next to each other, that I could see.

        1. Lab Boss*

          One of my jobs includes periodically circulating documents for people from a bunch of different departments to review and approve (and then badger and beg for about half of them to actually do so)- someone suggested I create a “meeting” for all of the reviewers that will block time off on their schedules and remind them to do it. Genius. I don’t do it every time, but certainly for the ones that truly need to be dealt with ASAP.

    2. Technically It's All Stuff Though*

      Planning the stuff, discussing the stuff post event, delegating the stuff who does what. I’m guessing. That’s what it would be for me vs sitting at the actual meeting and Doing The Thing.

    3. COHikerGirl*

      It’s not a meeting meeting. It’s just blocking off time on your calendar so no one (theoretically) disturbs you. Heads down time.

      Also, most meetings at my current company are the opposite of GSD…or things get done but it takes longer than it should. Most meetings are not super productive. One company I worked at were amazing at meetings and I actually enjoyed them, though. It can happen! Just rarely does. “This meeting could have been an email.” is a line for a reason.

    4. Allonge*

      Lots of people don’t consider sharing information or discussing matters real work.

      By all means meetings need to have agendas and outcomes – it’s just that sometimes the outcome is ‘everyone had the chance to hear first hand about the director’s new plan to create a Round Waffles department and ask questions about this’.

    5. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      Meetings entail figuring out what to do, telling people what you did, or finding out what other people did.

    6. Dinwar*

      To share information, to conform with company policy, to comply with governmental policy (see the USACE three phases of control for multiple examples), etc. I have one weekly meeting that was made specifically to provide a deadline to a subcontractor–either they have the stuff done by the meeting, or they have to tell the manager why they failed to deliver as promised. It’s a powerful psychological incentive. The intent isn’t to do anything during the meeting; it’s to ensure that the other person has done what they’re supposed to do.

    7. Toledo Mudhen*

      GSD in my experiences refers to accomplishing tasks. While many meetings often end with tasks accomplished that is not always the case. In a project status meeting, my teams talks about what has been done held against a project’s timeline and would end with action items assigning work, but not accomplishing it. If you have a steering committee to wrangle (someone give me a cattle prod!), they might only have a discussion and not come to any decisions.

      I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

  12. Irelass*

    RN here….many people fear sleep studies as it weirds them out to have people watching. So it’s awkward all the way around. My hospital gave gowns or let people sleep in a T-shirt and underwear. It’s a medical procedure and a lot of people don’t own pajamas.

  13. constant_craving*

    Professionalism is something you should be doing when providing medical services, not something you should be expecting of patients receiving health care.

      1. Testing*

        I don’t think it’s nitpicking if the wording fits in with the general vibe of the question. The patients are not there because they want to be there or because they have some improper interest in the staff, but because of a medical necessity.

        1. nnn*

          Read the comment just below this thread from an actual sleep technician who says “male patients absolutely do do it to harass the mostly female tech.”

        2. bamcheeks*

          C’mon, the “dealing with creepy guys who see female clinical staff as fair game” conversation is absolutely Nursing 101. Sure, some of them might be simply forgetting, but there are absolutely some who see any interaction with clinical staff as a power game and an opportunity to expose themselves. Keeping strong boundaries with your patients and requiring a basic level of respect and appropriate behaviour absolutely is professionalism.

          1. Mystery*

            Agreed. It is perfectly professional to ban patients who sexually harrass staff from the premises.

            1. constant_craving*

              Absolutely. But wanting to sleep in underwear or naked is not in and of itself sexual harassment. And people wearing pajamas can engage in sexual harassment. It makes no sense for the two to be conflated.

              If the clinic has a policy requiring certain attire, LW can remind the patients of that. If the clinic doesn’t, then I really doubt LW has the authority to make up her own rules. But it would be entirely reasonable for LW to see that this field involves more dealing with bodies than she expected and decide it’s not for her.

              1. bamcheeks*

                I think there’s a scale here from “Guy taking advantage of medical setting to actively harass women” (super common!) through “persn who doesnt care about medical staff’s comfort and working conditions and thinks they should suck it up or leave the job” (also super common), to “person who is muddling through unclear guidelines doing their best and would be horrified to know they are making someone uncomfortable and being seen as creepy”. Having good clear policy on what’s required and making sure the expectations or staff and patients are aligned is just as important for that last group as it is for LW! And this is a very normal policy for a medical facility to have, and LW is well within her rights to ask for it.

      2. Empress Ki*

        Saying that patients aren’t required to behave professionally isn’t nitpicking, it’s a valid point.

        1. SAAHaCM*

          I don’t agree with that point though. There may be some concessions for medical circumstances (I’m thinking of mental health patients, or maybe for this sleep study context, drooling or other physical things that you can’t control during sleep). But the default is that a patient is a customer and receiving services from others who are doing their job. I would expect people to respect norms of politeness whether they are in a bank, or grocery store, or a spa, or a doctor’s office.

          1. Lab Boss*

            Agreed. “Professionalism” may not be the most correct word for the way the non-professional behaves, but professional settings have behavior norms that are different, and often more formal, than general “politeness.”

            1. Emmy Noether*

              Also agreed. Maybe there’s a better word for it than “professional”, but there’s absolutely a standard of behaviour when you are interacting as a patient, customer, client or patron with someone.

              1. I'm just here for the cats!*

                Yes there is a level of decency when you are a paitent. In this case there is no need for the person to be nude, even if that is how the sleep at home. It would be like if you went to a chiropractor (where you keep you clothes on) and the patent was naked. Or if you were in the hospital for foot surgery you wouldn’t sit in the chair naked.

      3. constant_craving*

        It’s not just the use of the single word. The whole letter reads like LW expects this to be a normal office job and doesn’t see how the actual setting is quite different.

        1. Lab Boss*

          I don’t think so. If LW said they never, ever wanted to have to see a patient less than fully dressed (Or to hear details of bodily functions, or other medical stuff) that would be failing to understand how a medical facility is different than a normal office job. But just because a medical office has SOME differences from a standard office, doesn’t make it anything goes. My doctor occasionally sees me in my underwear (or in nothing at all), but it would be weird and inappropriate for me to be sitting there in my underwear when that wasn’t needed for the care I was receiving.

        2. Observer*

          The whole letter reads like LW expects this to be a normal office job and doesn’t see how the actual setting is quite different.

          Did we read the same letter? The LW clearly understands that this is not an office job. But there are STILL reasonable norms even in a non-office job.

          1. constant_craving*

            LW clearly says she’s a machine operator who happens to interact with patients. That certainly sounds like thinking it’s more an office job than a patient care role.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              Saying she’s a machine operator isn’t saying she thinks it’s an office job, it’s saying she’s not a medical professional in the same way a doctor or nurse would be. You’re making some wild leaps here based on nothing.

    1. Cassie*

      Patients are still required to treat medical staff with respect and that would include not exposing themselves unless it’s medically necessary.

      1. constant_craving*

        Respect, yes, but that’s quite different than professionalism. And calling patients creepy isn’t exactly respectful either.

        I think it’s important for LW to think about what makes a medical setting different than an office setting. Caring employee-dynamic expectations into a care-providing situation just isn’t going to work.

        Whether patients should be naked or not depends on the policies of the sleep clinic.

        1. Cassie the sleep tech*

          I assure you that some of the men doing this are only doing it to female techs. It’s sexual in nature in a context that is not supposed to be sexual. Creepy.

      1. GythaOgden*

        Particularly if it’s for the patients’ safety as well as OP’s. I’d no more want to be naked in front of someone I didn’t need to be naked in front of, but SOP in UK hospitals is to be provided with a gown, so if things weren’t spelled out completely, it might be a bit awkward if I turned up with only a pyjama top or tee shirt or something like that, which is what I usually carry with me if I’m going to be sleeping elsewhere. I don’t think of myself as a vulnerable adult but technically, because of my struggles to remain independent, I probably am given my neurological handicaps. I don’t want to end up being taken advantage of as much as OP doesn’t. And there are people like me who need more support that could also be visiting the clinic and definitely need safeguarding.

        I think OP’s clinic needs to follow the best practice and state directly to their patients and maybe ensure they have extra scrubs on hand if necessary.

    2. TPS reporter*

      exactly why my organization has been enforcing a robust patient code of conduct. the attitude some patients display around medical professionals is intentionally hostile and disrespectful. the medical profession is losing people to burnout and stress.

      1. Gyne*

        Same, there are strongly worded signs EVERYWHERE in the hospital informing patients and visitors that harassing hospital staff will not be tolerated and is a felony offense. It’s always been a thing but got so, so much worse during the worst of the covid surges.

      2. Observer*

        How about a medica practitioners’ code of conduct that says patients will be seen within two weeks of making an appointment, will be taken seriously, etc.

        Which has what to do with anything?

        If your pharmacy doesn’t have your medication in stock is it ok to call the pharmacist there names? Your mechanic shop couldn’t schedule your inspection for 6 weeks because they messed up makes it ok to flash the person who actually does the test when it finally gets scheduled?

        There are a lot of reasons for the issue we are seeing. ONE of them is the way medical staff, especially the techs and aids, get treated. Of course there are a lot of other issues as well. Taking your frustration about those on the people with the least amount of power to change those things is , , , a problem.

      3. Cassie the sleep tech*

        Exactly! There’s a five month wait for sleep studies at my lab and people are legit saying that I should quit if I don’t want to see some dude’s dick when there is zero medical reason for me to? Enjoy waiting longer for your medical care now.

    3. Emily Byrd Starr*

      Medical staff still have the right not to be sexually harassed, and if the patients are sleeping naked because they like creeping out the technician, that’s a problem.

  14. Cassie*

    Registered sleep tech of 13 years here. This scenario is frustratingly common. People either don’t get or ignore instructions to bring PJs. And yes, male patients absolutely do do it to harass the mostly female techs. To be clear, the vast majority of the patients we see at the sleep lab are not so sick that they can’t dress themselves. I think many people are imagining these tests being done on people admitted to the hospital. 99% of people getting sleep studies are not hospitalized. It’s an outpatient procedure like an MRI or mammogram. The hospital I work at has both hospital gowns and scrub pants for people that don’t bring anything. We literally put over 30 sensors on people to do a sleep study. Asking them to also wear shorts with a closed crotch is not going to keep them more awake than they already are.

    1. Artemesia*

      They should have those loose baggy hospital procedure shorts oh hand and just hand them without fuss to the men who are fantasizing about flashing the techs — and yeah that is what happening with male patients planning to sleep nude during the study/

      1. Awkwardness*

        That was the first thing that came to my mind. A dream-come-through scenario for flashers.

        I am not saying that everybody who forgets their sleepwear is a creep, but that it is unfair to say LW should just accept it because of their profession. A sleep study is a completely different setting than hospitalisation (e.g. ability to dress one self, wounds, general helplessness)

      2. Cassie the sleep tech*

        There is a man that calls sleep labs across then country. If a male tech answers, he hangs up. If a female tech answers he asks all kinds of detailed questions about a sleep study. If a tech is new or naive it sometimes takes awhile for them to realize that he’s mastrubating while listening to them. He’s been doing this for at least 15 years.

        1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

          How gross! I guess I really shouldn’t be shocked, but this a new one on me. Eww, just ewww!

    2. Silver Robin*

      I feared as much about the harassment. Gross.

      It does also suck that the way we figure out what is going on with people’s sleep is so disruptive to their sleep. 30 electrodes!!

    3. The fashionista is gone today*

      You want people to wear pajamas, then you’re providing them, like airlines do in business class on intercontinental flights. I’m certainly not buying a pair specifically for a sleep study.

      1. Papper Person*

        I think people are getting hung up on the word “pajamas.” I technically don’t own pajamas either; I sleep in a t-shirt and cotton shorts. It’s not that deep.

      2. londonedit*

        This is baffling to me. When my mum had knee surgery she absolutely did buy a pair of pyjamas with loose-fitting shorts specifically for the night she spent in hospital, because that’s what she was asked to do and that’s what the hospital required (so that patients are firstly dressed decently and secondly so that the medical staff can easily examine the knee(s) being operated on). She also bought a new pair of slippers, because she was asked to bring those (when you have a knee replacement these days they get you up and about as quickly as possible so you can start walking and physio – so they want people to have indoor shoes with sturdy soles). What’s the big deal in doing that? Maybe it’s cultural but I would absolutely not expect the NHS to pay for pyjamas for me to wear in hospital. If they ask me to bring pyjamas, that’s what I’m doing – and yes I probably would buy a new pair just because it’s nice to have something fresh and new to make you feel better when you’re in hospital.

        1. sparkle emoji*

          US here, and hospitals/medical facilities here might provide a gown or paper scrubs but they are uncomfortable and flimsy. I would also expect to just buy/bring the appropriate clothing, I’d assume they recommend it for a reason.

        2. Happy meal with extra happy*

          Yeah, the hills that some commenters on this site profess that they’re willing to die on…. It gets ridiculous at times, and I truly wonder if this is how they are in real life, or just how they wish they were.

      3. Chriama*

        That’s a weird point to fixate on. It doesn’t need to be pjs specifically, just non-restrictive clothing conducive for sleeping in. A t-shirt and shorts is perfectly fine. The point is that it’s not a situation where nudity is a necessary part of the medical treatment and therefore it’s reasonable to insist that patients are clothed.

        1. New Jack Karyn*

          It’s not a weird point to fixate on when people are saying “PJs” and denigrating underwear.

          1. Jennifer Strange*

            There’s an entire happy medium though between matching PJs sets and underwear though.

          2. Happy meal with extra happy*

            I’m going to be charitable and assume that maybe this is a cultural/regional language quirk? Because where I am, PJs would be anything you sleep in, not a formal sleep set.

            1. Lab Boss*

              Yes exactly. My “Pajamas” are whatever gym shorts and t shirt I grab to wear in the evening (and are often discarded before actual sleep time). I wouldn’t judge anyone for owning a set of fully-dedicated-matching-sleep-set-Pajamas, but I would think it was a bit peculiar to be that dedicated to the art of dapper sleeping.

            2. New Jack Karyn*

              The LW is annoyed by (irritated? bothered? not sure the best term) the men who are wearing underwear, though. She’s putting them in the same category as the ones who want to go starkers.

      4. Echo*

        Then you should not get the sleep study. If you are not willing to clothe yourself appropriately for a medical setting, you should not be welcome there.

      5. Churu*

        “You want people to wear pajamas, then you’re providing them, like airlines do in business class on intercontinental flights. I’m certainly not buying a pair specifically for a sleep study.”

        Why are you purposely being obtuse and weird about this?

      6. HannahS*

        Just as an aside, I have no idea what world of wealth you live in if airlines are handing you pyjamas. I’ve flown intercontinentally many, many times in my life and you can hardly even get a blanket these days, never mind pyjamas.

      7. Cassie the sleep tech*

        Most people can bring themselves to buy an $8 pair of gym shorts from Walmart. Sure we’ll give you a hospital gown, but you would have been more comfortable in the shorts. And it kind of seems like you’re being difficult to be difficult to your own detriment.

      8. Noks*

        Really? Hoe entitled of you. Guess you are not getting the treatment you need and requested then. Seems like a good way to self-sabotage for no reason whatsoever. But hey, whatever works for you in life.

    4. Jackalope*

      I haven’t noticed in the comments anyone who thinks sleep studies are happening to people in the hospital. A lot of the people writing in have had them done in the past, or had spouses who had them done, etc. What I’m seeing is more people who are saying that it’s a lot harder to fall asleep if you’re wearing more clothing than you’re used to. Which to be clear is not denying that there are patients who want to use this as a chance to harass the staff, just that it’s also a legit concern that wearing pjs if you don’t normally will thrown your sleep off even more.

      1. Awkwardness*

        I have seen a lot of comments almost eager to misunderstand the OP and arguing as if there was no middle ground between sleeping naked and buying a brand new flanell pj with long arms and legs.
        Everybody in this setting should feel comfortable, which includes the medical staff. And it its a bad argument to insist on exposing your private parts just because the nurse/technician is a nurse/technician.
        I would argue differently if this was a different kind of medical service. But we are talking about sleep studies.
        Do people really believe the sleep of a male patient, which is the main concern of OP, if affected more through loose fitting boxershorts than through all those electrodes and cables?

      2. blah*

        And Cassie’s point is that you have 30 sensors stuck to you – the clothes you’re wearing aren’t going to be the only thing disturbing your ability to fall asleep.

      3. Lab Boss*

        “it’s a lot harder to fall asleep if you’re wearing more clothing than you’re used to.”

        I guess- but I have to wonder, do these people literally never sleep anywhere other than home or a private hotel room? I’m a comfortable no-PJ’s sleeper, but sometimes I sleep in a guest room, in a tent, in a cabin bunkroom, on a couch, or other places where my natural non-attire wouldn’t be appropriate, and I just deal with that minor inconvenience. The argument about it being a lot harder to sleep really feels like people weaponizing their preferences.

        1. Jack Dawson’s Creek*

          Yeah, it makes me think that either:
          1) some commenters just want to pretend they’re hardcore edge lords who always have snappy comebacks accompanied by a laugh track or audience applause (but would be the meekest, most passive, most non-confrontational milquetoast mice in real life)
          2) those commenters are the patients that every health care provider has nightmares about and then decides, “yep this it, this is the line” when deciding to retire early

      4. Chriama*

        The fact that you’re sleeping in an unfamiliar setting with a bunch of wires, clips, and electrodes attached to you is already going to mess up your sleep. I don’t think being loose-fitting clothing is going to make a big enough difference than all those other factors.

  15. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP4 (get ‘stuff’ done meetings) I’m familiar with these, it just means blocking off a slot on your calendar to power through some tasks. I read it as OP was asking about the appropriateness of the *manager* (rather than OP themselves) putting GSD meetings on their direct report’s calendar. I’ve never seen that (either as the manager, or from a manager to me). Does it mean the manager has some concerns about things getting done, or about something in the work environment? I wonder if the GSD meetings are more of a symptom, and there’s a more underlying reason behind it that could be flushed out with a discussion between OP and manager.

    1. Allonge*

      This – the only way that part makes sense to me is if OP and manager are both needed for getting this particular Something done.

      Otherwise it’s… weird. By all means tell someone you are managing to block time off for Projects X or Y, but let them manage their calendar.

    2. nodramalama*

      It could be that there is a certain task or project they need to power through together

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        I thought about that but I thought probably they wouldn’t characterise that as “GSD” but rather “let’s block out 2 hours to go through the proposal for the TTP project”.

      2. AngryOctopus*

        Yeah, I thought this would be a meeting between LW and the boss (at least) where they just sit down and make decisions on things that need them (and are easy/have been easy to put off in the past, so just taking care of them).

    3. amoeba*

      Hm, true, this makes more sense than this being about the profanity!

      I kind of assumed it was somehow work the two of them needed to actually do together (like, for instance, my colleague and I sat down last week to plan out a project we’d be doing. If it’s the manager just blocking off time for the report to work by themselves, that’s certainly weird.

    4. Richard Hershberger*

      I am fascinated by the framing of this as a meeting, when the whole point is to make the person unavailable for meetings. This framing seems to acknowledge that actual meetings are obstacles to getting stuff done, while also acknowledging that meetings are given priority. So spending time getting stuff done is recast as a meeting, so people will respect that time despite its not being spent in an actual meeting. Does this work? Or do people, having figured out that this isn’t an actual meeting, treat that time period as fair game?

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        I block off my calendar frequently when it would be inconvenient or impossible for me to have a meeting, like medical appointments, personal errands that cannot be done after work (think banking in the pre-internet days), etc., so that I don’t have to decline a meeting when it may have taken a while for the invitee to find a time slot where everyone’s calendar is free. I don’t need to have GSD meetings, but there have been a couple of times lately where I was interrupted doing something that required a lot of focus, and maybe I should have!

      2. ScruffyInternHerder*

        Prefaced with – my specialty within the industry sometimes deals with extremely large projects. Our GSD meetings tend to be mostly so that the correct people to put together all of the pieces of astronomically huge projects can hide in a conference room and put it all together. As typically the same group would get sucked into other (less productive) meetings by TPTB who don’t know our subspecialty as well, its extremely helpful for us to frame it as a meeting, plus (in person here) it allows us to reserve a room big enough to spread all the project materials out.

        And yes, I’d say 75% of my meetings on a daily basis are unnecessary.

    5. The Cosmic Avenger*

      I was also wondering why the MANAGER was putting these on the OP’s calendar. Are there tasks that they need to work on together? If not, and this is what I’d normally think of as a “GSD meeting”, where you block off time to sit in your office alone and work on tasks, then I wonder if the manager has an issue with the OP’s time management skills; or maybe the OP is very new to the working world, or at least this environment, and the manager is trying to get them to take up this practice when needed. Still, if I were the OP, I would be asking my manager for guidance on doing that myself, rather than having them put it on my calendar.

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        I could see this! Like, LW is struggling with making headway on projects because they’re always stuck in meetings, being interrupted, etc., but either hadn’t thought of, or are not confident enough to put this into practice. So the boss just throws it onto their calendar.

        Maybe not the most politic choice for manager to not talk about it with LW first, but not the worst thing either,

  16. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

    #1 I’d present this as improving communication with patients, because saying you are embarassed by semi-nudity/nudity might seem odd in a medical facility.

    So “some patients don’t bring any sleepwear. Could the requirement to bring pyjamas be stated more prominantly in the instructions we send them?”

    I’d not assume the lack of pyjamas is in itself – without any other behaviour – creepy:
    People who don’t normally sleep in pyjamas might not even think to bring them, might assume they are supposed to wear what they normally do and might even have to buy pyjamas if they don’t own any.

    #2 I’d never have resented someone upgrading themself at their own expense. Your money, your choice how to spend it.
    Just stay at the same hotel, even if in a luxury suite, to more easily enable ride-sharing, impromptu discussions, team meals etc.

    #4 At FinalJob when I saw a meeting invitation “FU project xyz” from a senior manager I asked him worriedly why, since I’d thought xyz was going very well. He burst out laughing and then kindly explained the abbreviation. Probably added to the many (friendly) anecdotes about the goofy Brit (in Germany)

    1. Chriama*

      “saying you are embarrassed by semi-nudity/nudity might seem odd in a medical facility.”

      I’m curious about this. You wouldn’t expect nudity in a dentist’s office, or an ENT or podiatrist’s office, right? Medical or not, if it’s not necessary for the procedure then it shouldn’t be happening.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          I doubt it’s necessary, even if it’s preferable. Even if it’s necessary, there are lots of things people find necessary to fall asleep but would have to give up if doing an in-office sleep study.

        2. Chriama*

          Nudity is acceptable in medical settings because it has to be. Given the vulnerability to both patients and care providers, that necessitates standards of care and protection. Some of the ways nudity is managed in medical settings is by minimizing it to when necessary, having procedures around draping, or even having 2 staff in the room for accountability.

          A sleep study is about monitoring things like brain activity and blood oxygen. Given that the settings of the sleep study are already likely to affect quality of sleep (unfamiliar setting, having electrodes, wires, and other devices attached, etc), I find it implausible that the risk* of nudity is outweighed by any improvements to the patient’s sleep quality.

          By risk I mean the inherent risk of nudity among strangers, including discomfort or the opportunity for / the appearance of impropriety.

    2. waiting for zoom godot*

      I never ever ever use FU instead of “Follow up” because of an early job I had, where after a tense meeting with my boss, she sent me an email with the subject line “FU”.

      I had a panic attack.

    3. Dancing Otter*

      Follow up is F/U for clarity’s sake, anywhere I’ve worked. Yes, punctuation matters.

  17. Daria grace*

    #1 you are being reasonable. Your patients are ridiculous. Any reasonable person doing a sleep study would assume they should bring clothing appropriate to sleep in

    1. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      People who normally sleep nude or just in underpants might not think that “clothing appropriate to sleep in” means pyjamas, unless specifically stated in their appointment info.

      Especially if it means buying pyjamas because they don’t own any.
      Not just men – some women only own very short nightdresses.

      1. MsM*

        I don’t think anyone but the most committed of nudists reads an instruction to bring clothing and interprets that to mean “clothing optional” unless they’re deliberately misreading.

      2. Siege*

        I mean, I sleep naked and I am also not stupid, so I know that “clothing appropriate to sleep in” does mean a) clothing, and b) not a ball gown, wet suit, bikini, or Boy Scout uniform, or anything else similarly inappropriate for sleeping. It’s not that complex.

    2. metadata minion*

      My experience of being in the hospital is that I will be required to wear weird hospital pajama things that don’t really fasten properly, and if the sleep study didn’t tell me to bring pjs, I would assume they would be provided.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        ^This. In a medical situation I assume you are giving me one of those deeply immodest gowns to waft around myself.

    3. kiki*

      People do forget/ not think the logistics of the appointment through/ assume a gown will be provided. If the instructions to bring pajamas or clothing to sleep in is not included in the instructions for patients already, it should be. It should also probably be included in any reminder emails/texts/calls. Sometimes appointments like this are booked months out– it’s easy to forget instructions that were given months before.

      But LW is totally reasonable! I just also think that if a significant portion of patients are messing something up, the instructions probably should be clearer.

  18. Arthenonyma*

    Actually I’m going to put this as a stand-alone comment for the people arguing that sleep study patients might need to sleep nude to be fully comfortable and sleep “normally”. I’ve had three sleep studies, two at home and one in hospital. There is zero expectation that the patient will sleep well or normally. Which can be a challenge for diagnosis! They didn’t figure out what was going on with me until the third one because it turned out they needed the combination of the data from the sensors and the visual record of how I moved during the night to put it together.

    My point being: in most cases it will make very little difference if the patient is not used to wearing PJs. Most people will understand that if they’re going to be on camera all night they should not be naked. I trust LW1’s judgement that these people are being creepy. It should absolutely be part of the instructions to bring nightwear, and they should have a few sizes on hand as loaners in the event people don’t bring their own.

    1. Irish Teacher.*

      Yeah, I have never participated in a sleep study but really, even though I usually wear a nightdress and don’t find pyjamas the most comfortable, I’d be far less worried that wearing pyjamas would disturb my sleep than that the electrodes or wires or lights or noise in the clinic would.

      I can’t imagine being comfortable sleeping with wires and so on connected to me and I doubt what I was wearing would really add significantly to the discomfort.

      1. Katie Impact*

        It’s about as unpleasant as you’re imagining, although ideally you still want to get at least 3-4 hours of continuous sleep for a useful diagnostic result.

    2. Seashell*

      I don’t think a man in underwear counts as naked (it covers all the parts I wouldn’t want to see), and it wouldn’t surprise me if the men wearing just underwear think the same thing and consider it appropriate sleepwear. OP makes it sound like nudity and underwear are the same thing and automatic signs of creepiness, but I think reasonable people could differ on that.

      1. Irish Teacher.*

        I interpreted the letter as meaning some men just wear underwear and others sleep completely naked rather than implying the two are the same thing, though I could read it either way.

      2. bamcheeks*

        I read it as, “I sleep naked so I didn’t bring anything” “OK, then keep your underpants on”, so the underpants are what the prefer-naked patient ends up wearing.

        I don’t think that is automatically creepy, but I would be *very* surprised if there weren’t a lot of men taking advantage of the plausible deniability, because there sure as heck is in every other medical field I’ve come across. And a creepy guy who only has pants on because he’s been told he has to keep his pants on definitely has ways of letting you know he’d rather be naked and making it weird.

        1. Chriama*

          > I would be *very* surprised if there weren’t a lot of men taking advantage of the plausible deniability, because there sure as heck is in every other medical field I’ve come across.

          Agreed! And I feel like commenters jumping all over themselves to explain how and why patients might be “uncomfortable sleeping in pjs” or “may not own pjs” are either missing the point or deliberately ignoring it. It’s a sleep study – there is no need to be unclothed and rules-lawyering that it’s technically a medical procedure is disingenuous.

        2. Dek*

          I absolutely believe that some of the male patients behave creepily. But I think that behavior is what needs to be dealt with, and that they’d probably be creepy regardless of clothing level, because someone still has to get near their bare skin and all to put the electrodes on.

          1. bamcheeks*

            I don’t completely agree. Yes, some guys will be creepy no matter what. Some are opportunists taking advantage of plausible deniability and lack of clarity around appropriate behaviour and boundaries, though. The clinic clearly spelling out expectations around clothing/nakedness is one of the ways they signal that a clinical setting is a formal space and what being respectful of their staff looks like.

      3. I'm just here for the cats!*

        I think it’s the type of underwear. Tidywhites (what the OP states) are pretty revealing compared to boxers. It would be like a woman wearing a lacy thong lingerie, compared to normal everyday “granny pantie” underwear.

  19. Empress Ki*

    1# I don’t know if it’s a cultural difference with the US, but I don’t really see a problem if a patient sleeps naked, especially for a sleep study. They need to be comfortable. I am a female, but I’d also prefer to sleep naked to have a good sleep, especially if the weather is hot. Don’t they sleep under a sheet anyway ?
    If total nudity is unbearable, it’s okay to ask them to wear a brief/boxer, but maybe not a whole pyjama if they won’t sleep comfortably.

    1. Nodramalama*

      The Tech has to put the electrodes on them and monitor them. Not wanting to see or be close to their genitals when it is not required is a reasonable wish, not some prudish quality of the U.S.

      Also people seem to be missing the purpose of the sleep study. It’s not trying to mirror someone’s experience of sleeping at home.

      1. Seven If You Count Bad John*

        If the electrodes have to be close to my genitals then that’s where they have to be. Putting a wisp of cotton panty in there won’t help matters. We’re here to solve a medical problem

        1. bamcheeks*

          This is super disrespectful to medical personnel! It is completely normal to be asked to keep underwear on or wear a patient gown so you don’t expose yourself more than you need to. You are not the only person whose boundaries matter in a medical or clinical situation.

          1. MsM*

            Also, do people really prefer having goop smeared and stickers stuck directly onto the skin down there? I don’t even like the chest ones they do for EKGs.

        2. Awkwardness*

          We’re here to solve a medical problem

          Exactly! That’s why I would expect the patient to be as respectful and helpful as possible to the medical staff, so they can focus on their actual work.

        3. Nodramalama*

          Yes, we are. It doesn’t mean anything goes because they’re medical professionals and they just have to accept whatever

      2. Empress Ki*

        This is why I suggested a brief/boxer. This way it won’t be different from seeing someone at the beach. But a full pyjama ?
        I get that the sleep study isn’t trying to mirror someone sleeping at home, but being a minimum comfortable is important.
        If it’s very hot, I won’t even fall asleep in a pyjama.

        1. Happy meal with extra happy*

          This could be a language difference because at least in the parts of the USA I’m from/lived in, pajamas or PJs are just clothes you wear to sleep, and they could range from a full matching set to a tshirt and cotton shorts to just a tshirt.

        2. fhqwhgads*

          I think your interpretation of “full pyjama” might not match what the sleep techs/people who’ve done sleep studies are referring to throughout the comments. There are numerous posts referencing the many many many online sources about sleep studies that make it clear the PJs recommended in this context are “freshly laundered, 2 piece, such as cotton t-shirt and shorts”.

    2. kalli*

      It’s not about sleeping comfortably – if someone was sleeping comfortably with no issues they likely wouldn’t be there anyway. It’s about someone seeing and observing what the body does during whatever sleep someone can get in order to figure out why that sleep isn’t of the requisite quality. That involves someone watching.

      Plus it’s generally kind of accepted in many more cultures than just the US that you don’t put your genitals on stuff you don’t own, even if it is bedsheets in a medical setting that will get washed or disposed of.

  20. Honoria, Dowager Duchess of Denver*

    OP2 – I’m sure this is fine in your case, but to highlight a different perspective, my sister works in a government/health care setting, and their travel policy strictly denies them from upgrading (even if it was cheaper to book first class than standard) due to the idea that someone could *appear* to have been wasteful with taxpayer money. I’m in the UK, and this is referred to by her and her colleagues as the “Daily Mail test” ie could you imagine this as a headline in the Mail? Might be worth double checking your travel policy just to make sure you aren’t running a foul of anything like this.

          1. Honoria, Dowager Duchess of Denver*

            Have to qualify, lest the other commenters mistake me for Helen!

            1. New Jack Karyn*

              That would be unpossible, even if one only knew each of you through correspondence (as collected in the epistolary introduction to ‘Busman’s Honeymoon’).

      1. ImprobableSpork*

        It’s not always better in the private sector. A couple of jobs ago, I was traveling to a conference with a couple of co-workers in a tech startup and one of them got upgraded to first because he had elite status on the airline we were flying. He got a Talking To from HR about the travel expense guidelines. But he had booked the same economy-class ticket we had, through the company travel portal – he didn’t pay extra for the upgrade and was fully expecting to sit in the back with us. He just got lucky that day.

      2. Noks*

        If you are completely shallow and expensive hotels is all you can care about in life, I guess.

    1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      On the other hand, my cousin works for the US Federal Government, and always upgrades using miles/airline credit card. He gets reimbursed for the cost of an economy seat + baggage, and everything else is out of pocket for him. He’s never had an issue (and being a rather large guy, is a lot more physically comfortable in first class than economy).

      1. Ontariariario*

        Same thing in Canada. All expenses are well documented so if someone wants to use points or pay to upgrade then they can do so themselves.

    2. Smithy*

      I’m in the nonprofit sector for a very large organization, and regularly spend my own money to upgrade flights.

      The idea of a DailyMail test might apply to some particularly high profile ngo CEO’s or spokes people – but I can’t imagine it being such a case where it would make it to an organization wide policy. However, the one point of caution I would flag is if you’re on the same flight as donors. I’m pretty tall, so most of my donors who I’ve seen in airports have been really understanding around me “doing what I can” for more legroom – and they’re not so pedantic to make a fuss about having a lot of points for free upgrades. That being said, I do kind of love it when I see them turn to First Class and I’m in Economy Plus or whatever. For international flights I’m happy to have distance between donors and how I choose to manage my time on a plane.

      That being said, while I wouldn’t upgrade myself to first class while flying with colleagues – I wouldn’t turn down a free upgrade and also would have no issues upgrading myself to any class just below first.

  21. LostCommenter*

    For OP1, when I went for my sleep study they told me I need to do everything as close as how I sleep at home or the results wouldn’t be accurate. so I showed up with my hypoallergenic pillow and sleep earphones. Luckily I do sleep with pajamas, but I can see how someone who doesn’t could get confused. But this must be so uncomfortable for the technicians!!!

    I still had the worst night’s sleep ever!

  22. Attractive Nuisance*

    LW1 a doctor’s office I used to go to offered shorts and gowns – both disposable – for patients to wear during exams. I wonder if having both available would work for your clinic.

    Anyone who thinks some patients wouldn’t be creepy just because it isn’t appropriate, please think through the physical situation. A number of men in a state of partial nudity near a bed, with a woman who is required to touch their body including waist and legs, would make an inappropriate joke or worse.

    1. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      Unfortunately a creep in pyjamas is still a creep, so there needs to be a clear policy in advance on how staff should deal with them

      1. Dek*


        If a patient behaves inappropriately, regardless of their clothing level, that needs to be handled. Ideally, a zero-tolerance policy would be nice (you say something inappropriate or behave inappropriately, the study will stop, you can reschedule and explain to your insurance later), but that’s probably not plausible.

        But I think the issue to focus on more is if patients are being creeps than if patients are naked or in their underwear. One is not inherently the other.

  23. Seven If You Count Bad John*

    I’m a little taken aback that someone who has gone into sleep tech as a profession wasn’t warned up-front that a lot of people sleep unclothed? And that if they say “nobody told me to bring jammies” that they’re probably lying, because as commenters above pointed out, bringing jammies is part of the prep? Something is up with your clinic, OP.

    1. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      The clinic may need to state more prominantly in the info that pyjamas must be brought. Could be buried with a lot of other bumf that people skim over.
      Might be an idea to ask why the person didn’t bring jammies e.g. they might need longer notice if it was because they’d have to buy some and didn’t have enough time or budget

      1. The fashionista is gone today*

        Maybe the clinic should consider that it’s difficult enough to get patients to agree to sleep studies in the first place, and that if they want to encourage them they need to stop putting onerous conditions on them, treating them as presumptive “creeps,” and so on.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          Asking someone to wear a T-shirt and sweat pants is hardly an onerous condition. Also, as others have pointed out it’s not uncommon for male patients to intentionally harass female medical practitioners, especially those with less power over the patients. Whether that’s the case here or not is unclear, but it’s not like the LW is pulling that out of nowhere.

        2. Xanna*

          OMG what? I am Canadian, and waited YEARS for mine – felt so lucky when it was finally booked. It’s not a hotel trying to drum up business, it’s a medical procedure, the results of which can lead to radically improved quality of life????

          The least you can do as a patient is to put on a T-shirt and show some basic comportment?

    2. Lab Boss*

      I’m not in medicine but many of my family and friends are. “The patient claims they were never told something that they were told multiple times verbally and in writing” is maybe the least surprising thing possible, and definitely doesn’t mean the clinic is negligent. It might mean they need to be even MORE explicit, or have backup pajamas for the patients who simply can’t be asked to listen to instructions.

      1. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

        It’s also possible the patients got conflicting or confusing instructions. “Bring something comfortable to sleep in” or something. Nobody seems to know whether plain black coffee is OK before a non-surgical procedure requiring “nothing with any sugars, but water is okay” for a few hours prior. I’ve heard yes, no, and “I need to ask the tech”.

        1. Dek*

          Yeah, I can see “bring pajamas” or “bring something to sleep in” being open for misinterpretation. Especially if someone just sleeps in their underwear. Well, they’ve brought that.

          I think “You must sleep clothed” and/or specifying the level of clothing expected of patients would be better than “bring pajamas.”

      2. I Have RBF*

        I was told that if I went to a sleep study without appropriate sleepwear, the sleep study would have to be rescheduled. It’s in the paperwork. This is the standard, even in the libertine SF Bay Area.

    3. Insert Clever Name Here*

      Several people have mentioned that the industry standard is for patients to be clothed. The LW is not weird for expecting industry standards.

  24. Yup*

    LW1: I would definitely ask that sleepwear be mentioned in the paperwork and/or offered on site. There’s a huge difference between sleeping naked at home and in a professional setting where other people are going to see you. Imagine having to share a room with a coworker on a business trip and they insist on sleeping in the nude?

    This comes off as some men taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit. Just as your patients would not be allowed to bring in a pet, spouse, smoke, drink, or perform other bedtime habits in the hospital, so too should they adhere to sleepwear rules. As an employee, you deserve to be protected from that kind of behaviour too.

    1. Empress Ki*

      If you have to share a room with a coworker, the problem is with the stingy employer making you sharing a room, not with the coworker who needs to sleep comfortably.

      1. Lab Boss*

        The existence of a systemic problem doesn’t forgive subordinate poor behavior. A stingy employer making me share a room with a coworker is a bigger and more systemic problem- but once my coworker and I ARE forced to share a room, it would ALSO be a problem for me to insist on being nude.

  25. Rosacolleti*

    #3 wow, needing time off for trauma needs to be normalised in that workplace. I would be horrified if one of my staff felt they couldn’t have tome off for either of those events.

    #4 GSD is really crass and would absolutely be offensive. I would be asking about the need – if things aren’t done unless they’ve mentioned it in an GSD meeting, there’s a problem that needs dealing with.

    1. TPS reporter*

      I feel sad too that #3 feels like they can’t have a day to be left alone or feels like they can’t ask their manager for help. they should be able to tell the manager in confidence and manager could say something like, Sam needs some space for a few days, bring me urgent items you would give to them. they could still do work behind the scenes but put up an OOO to avoid interactions

      1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

        I just saw an article today about how the Rise and Grind culture is leading to severe medical issues in late middle age.

        No one can work under the pressures OP3 describes for long without consequences. Then to try to work through a personal crisis? Just a recipe for burn out and other issues.

      2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        #3 needs to embrace what Alison writes to #1 about how things become normalized that shouldn’t. No, work is not a place to trauma dump. We are NOT family. But, we are human beings with connections to the world outside. That you cannot say, “I need a day for a family member” or “I lost a friend this week” is pathological environment.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      The entire point of profanity is that it feels a little out there and breaking of norms. If no one did a slight recoil at the phrase, they would have to make it “GFSD” or something until the sense of edginess returned.

      I have read that all languages have “bad words” which are considered violating of norms in some contexts. It’s an oddity of language and human culture that if there are no bad words, we will make some.

      Also Mythbusters tested whether swearing up a storm relieves pain better than yelling “Golly Gosh Sugar” and it in fact does. The words need to feel edgy and norm-pushing to work.

      1. Katie Impact*

        There’s evidence that swearing is a fundamental attribute of human language to the point that there seem to be neurological pathways dedicated specifically to it: people with brain injuries that impair their ability to speak normally can often still swear without any problems.

      2. Coffee Protein Drink*

        The entire point of profanity is that it feels a little out there and breaking of norms.

        “Disruption” is fashionable now in some circles. *twitch*

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          Profanity (as a disruption of norms) has been around for millennia, and probably since we invented language.

    2. honeygrim*

      The phrase itself doesn’t offend me, but I think it could come across as a little aggressive in a way that “get stuff done” doesn’t, and I wouldn’t be thrilled if my boss sent out an invite to a “GSD” meeting.

      In my mind, I’m picturing a boss who’s angry that things aren’t moving along the way he thinks they should, so he schedules this meeting to badger everyone into doing more. That may not be an accurate read on the meeting title, but I can see why some people would be bothered by it.

      1. CatsOnAKeyboard*

        Get Stuff Done would be the same acronym, so I think it’s just easy to reframe it.

        My org just uses Focus Time which I don’t love either, but is pretty neutral.

    3. Delta Delta*

      I’d like to see the Venn diagram of people who are offended by GSD and who think people should sleep naked at sleep studies.

        1. Lab Boss*

          I’d assume the opposite, nobody free-wheeling enough to say they’re more comfortable being nude in front of an audience, is also rigid enough to be offended by an initial implying a vulgar word.

          1. Jennifer Strange*

            I think it’s less about saying they’re more comfortable being nude in front of an audience, but rather that a person should have a right to sleep naked regardless of the context of the situation.

    4. Czhorat*

      It’s coarse and feels a bit unprofessional, depending on the larger company culture.

      I’d possibly say that to a coworker, but wouldn’t use it in anything written or emailed.

      YMMV, but some of us expect workplace conversation to be a bit more polished and buttoned up than that.

    5. I.T. Phone Home*

      I don’t find it “offensive” per se, but I do think the meme-y, edgy, “we’re rockstars and ninjas who get S the F done” work culture that some companies foster feels like a weird offshoot of toxic positivity, and I find it pretty tiresome.


    Sleep studies are very common for truckers. Most (but not all) of the labs my employees use provide written instructions to wear non synthetic loose clothing.

    One lab suggests that folks who normally sleep naked should “practice” sleeping in a loose Tshirt for a few days before the exam. Otherwise they will likely be very uncomfortable and possibly distort the exam results.

    1. The Provisional Republic of A Thousand Eggs*

      That’s a good idea. Me, I would sleep in my usual attire (= nothing at all) in the nights before the exam while dreading that one night I’d have to spend in *gasp* pajamas. Now, if someone were to tell me in advance that I should (that it’s possible to) have a few practice runs…

  27. WellRed*

    No 3. What kind of a hellhole do you work in? Nit felling as though you can take time off in the two instances you describe is just awful. And normalizing curt communication! Nah. There are better, more humane workplaces out there. Don’t normalize this.

    1. TPS reporter*

      100 percent. a few people on my team have had personal crises in the last year and we found ways to support them during that time. if they didn’t want to just outright take days off because they wanted a distraction- sometimes they worked behind the scenes and didn’t take meetings, sometimes they directed urgent/sensitive conversations to another team member.

    2. Awkwardness*

      Yes, don’t normalize this!

      I am a bit lost what to say else. This letter saddened me.

      1. Kiki Is The Most*

        Omigosh. Me, too. I’m so so sorry for your loss.
        I think Allison’s advice is good…and you SHOULD advocate for yourself regardless of whatever position you are in. Your colleagues/clients should have an ounce of grace and give a wee bit of slack if you are struggling with maintaining your 100% during this incredibly heartbreaking time you’re having.

    3. MD*

      Yes! OP #3- I’m so sorry for your loss. I understand what it’s like to work in a very high stakes environment. You and your coworkers absolutely deserve the ability to take time off for tragedies and be spoken to respectfully all the time. I’ve been in environments where that happens and environments where it doesn’t- with the same patient care responsibilities in both. Please take care of yourself. Your company clearly won’t.

    4. Pine Tree*

      I totally agree that anyone should be allowed to take time off for this types of situations, but I took the letter to mean “what if I want to work a bit, but just need people to be a bit gentler than normal?” not necessarily that they weren’t allowed to take time off. They even said something about wanting to work instead of “staring at the wall.”

      I can understand this. I’ve had a few situations where I was lucky enough to say to a few coworkers, and/or my boss “hey, X happened, I don’t want to talk about it, I am going to work and get stuff done but can everyone just give me some space/be gentle for a little while?”

  28. pcake*

    My son did two sleep studies at different places, and both made sure to tell him to bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothing he could sleep in. Every friend I have who has done a sleep study was also told in writing or email and by phone to bring comfortable clothing. I suspect the men are getting naked specifically to show off or make you uncomfortable.

    1. Kaiko*

      Yeah, I’m reading this as a power play by the male study participants in a situation where they likely feel a bit vulnerable and want to reclaim some power.

    2. Dek*

      I feel like if the patients were provided with clear instructions to bring something more than underwear to sleep in, OP would’ve mentioned it.

      If patients aren’t following the instructions given to them prior to coming, that’s one thing. But if they actually aren’t being told “you will need to sleep clothed” then it’s understandable to me that some folks might not think they do.

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        I think that, being new, she might not know what the instructions given to patients are. Maybe she’s taking the patients at their word, but they were actually told. And some forget, and others ‘forget’.

  29. Lab Boss*

    LW2: Have you made a point to carefully read your company’s travel policy? If they do (For some reason) not want you self-upgrading it should say it there. Or maybe your company is like mine and they specifically tell you that you’re allowed to self-upgrade and how they want you to handle expense accounts if you’re doing so.

  30. M2*

    I would actually double check everything.

    I now fly United and am global services but I worked at nonprofits and NGOS for years and they picked my flights and it was always the cheapest one. If I wanted to fly United then I would have to pay the different from say Islandair or fly dubai or something. We also had to go to cheap hotels. I couldn’t stay at Marriott for example and had to stay at cheaper hotels to save the nonprofit money. We had a travel person we had to use as well who got us all the cheapest flights and hotels.

    I would also double check about using your own card to pay for it. Especially if say you’re booking an economy flight but on United because you have points with them instead of say spirit airlines that is cheaper. This would have been a huge no no when I worked in a nonprofit / NGO. It would have been seen as wasting donor money. When I worked at the UN I had to come home Cathay Pacific because it was a few hundred dollars cheaper than United. I was told I could upgrade myself but at my expense and again it went through their travel person I couldn’t use my own card. So you might say oh this United flight is only $100 more for economy than the Delta flight, who cares. That money matters to nonprofits and any competent finance person / donor would have an issue with that.

    Also with your personal credit card. Ask your nonprofit because maybe they want the points for their credit card and they actually deserve them because they are paying for it! Even though you pay for the upgrade why should you get the points instead of them? I did this where I worked for awhile but my now company mandates that we use the company credit card. Basically finance said that because they want the points for the travel they pay for. So again I would really double check on that and especially if you’re booking your own flights and hotel and not going through some type go system.

    I say this as someone who worked at a nonprofit and found certain people abusing the system. One person constantly stayed at name brand hotels when they could have stayed at local ones and saved the nonprofit tens of thousands of dollars over their years of work.

    When you work at a nonprofit you need to be aware of donor money. It’s like people in government who travel. A friend was high up at state and had a middle seat in te back of a plane to Ethiopia. Because the taxpayers were paying her way.

    Also, you using your personal card and asking for reimbursement is more work for finance. My relative did this for years when he worked for a tech company and at year 10 they had a huge audit of all his travel basically because he booked everything in his own credit cards. He was fine but I would keep all your receipts etc.

    In theory what you are doing is fine but I would double check a lot of things especially if you fly certain airlines to get points but you can fly others for less $$. My sibling works in development at a major university. A VP was basically only flying emirates and Qatar airlines because they liked it best. It cost a lot more $$ and wasn’t caught for years (when though finance complained about the spending). Finally an audit is happening and it looks like the Vp might have to pay back high 5 figures for these flights.

    When you’re dealing with someone else’s money you need to be respectful and aware because that money should be going to stakeholders not fancy flights and hotels.

    1. Yes And*

      I came here to say this. There’s any number of legitimate business reasons an employer, especially a nonprofit, may prefer their own procurement/payment processes to reimbursements.

      That said, given that OP has seemingly been doing this for a while, they’re probably fine. But everything you said is a good note for others who may be considering doing the same.

  31. Not your typical admin*

    Sleep study – sounds like there needs to be better communication. If I were doing a sleep study I would assume that I needed to sleep in whatever I did at home. I could also see people assuming that the sleep center would provide whatever gowns that worked with all their equipment. I don’t think it’s out of line to mention to your management that you’ve had several patients come unprepared and ask what can be done to better inform them of the process and what they need to bring. Whatever instructions you give people need to be every clear. For example – if you don’t want people in underwear you need to explicitly say that. Many people would read “we do not allow patients to sleep nude” as underwear being okay because they’re not nude.

    I’d also suggest including examples of what kind of pajamas are good. I’m a nude sleeper, but wear pajamas when my kids have friends sleep over in case I’m needed in the middle of the night. It took me awhile to find things that didn’t feel restrictive, but I did.

  32. OrigCassandra*

    OP4, my research colleagues and I call those “accountability hours,” if that helps. We hold them with a sprinkle of agile standup: at the start of the “meeting” we each state what we’re working on, and at the end we state what we got done.

    For those bewildered at this idea — when we happen to be working on the same thing, accountability hours let us ask questions and get immediate answers as we work, which can be quite helpful. Otherwise, it’s just social enough to be pleasant and motivating but not so social that it impedes doing the work.

  33. L-squared*

    #3. I think its really important that, if you choose to work, you let your manager know so they can help triage some of the work that is coming your way, and can take things off your plate. As someone who is in a customer facing role that often requires things from other people, I don’t know if I’d want YOU deciding for me what is and isn’t important, and what doesn’t need to be dealt with that day. Especially if I’m asking over email/slack. I don’t need to know specifics, but I do need my things dealt with.

  34. MsM*

    LW2: Bear in mind some donors will ask “why didn’t you show up in the palanquin I assume everyone has access to?”, so don’t worry about it. Seriously.

      1. Be Gneiss*

        I grew up as a kid who read a lot of books and knew a lot of words that I didn’t know how to pronounce because I’d only ever read them. And now that I listen to a lot of audiobooks…I just found that I definitely know the word palanquin (because it was mentioned many times in a book I listened to recently), but I did not know how to spell it. What a delightful turn of events!

  35. Mike*

    I can’t help but notice that it seems very acceptable for LW1 to call a man’s body “creepy and weird.” Yes, tell patients to bring sleep clothes or they’ll get a gown. But not owning or having “PJs” does not make me creepy or weird.

    1. Czhorat*

      It’s *very* contextually dependent. I don’t think anyone is saying it’s creepy for a man to have a body (if the patients were incorporeal spirits they wouldn’t need to sleep), but nudity *is* sexualized in this society.

      If a man gets completely naked for a generally innocent “this is how I sleep” reason that’s one thing; if he deliberately gets naked because he gets a thrill out of exposing himself that’s different. Most reasonable men would know that nudity *can* be uncomfortable and most would read the pre-study instructions saying that they should wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing (as many commenters have said).

    2. bamcheeks*

      Not owning pyjamas is not in the least creepy or weird. Not realising that you can’t use “I sleep naked” as an excuse for exposing yourself to medical staff and that they also get to have boundaries also matter IS creepy and weird.

      1. I'm just here for the cats!*

        I’m thinking that they disrobe or show themselves when the OP or other technicians come in to apply the electrodes, etc. I think it should be that men should at least have shorts on while technicians are setting up/ taking down equipment. If they want to sleep nude then they need to cover up when someone is in the room with them.

      2. Petty_Boop*

        Exactly. What one does at home is not the standard for what one does in public, nor SHOULD it be!

    3. Silver Robin*

      That is not what is getting called creepy and weird. You can sleep however you like in your private life. OP is referring to their behavior at the sleep study, where how they sleep is used as an excuse to be creepy and weird. Something that Cassie points out is unfortunately common in the field.

      1. kiki*

        I agree that LW probably meant those words to specifically apply to the folks intentionally using this sleep study as an opportunity to be an exhibitionist.

        But I do think it’s important as a medical professional to not group everyone who does not have sleepwear into that creepy/weird group. People really do forget sleepwear! And for folks who do sleep nude or in their underwear, it may not occur to them that others are different and that they should bring clothing that’s fuller coverage. If there are not clear instructions and reminders about what to wear/ bring, there should be. Ideally, a back-up option will be provided for those who forget or don’t have suitable sleep clothing for whatever reason.

        1. bamcheeks*

          I think this is where the clinic management is falling down and failing both LW and their patients, though. Having clear guidelines on appropriate wear and ensuring that staff know what they should deal with as normal human variation and what they should consider unacceptable protects both the staff from the genuinely creepy, AND the patients who have simply misunderstood the assignment being thought of as creepy. The ambiguity created by management is what puts both of them in an awkward position.

        2. Petty_Boop*

          “And for folks who do sleep nude or in their underwear, it may not occur to them that others are different and that they should bring clothing that’s fuller coverage.”

          Sorry I think that’s giving a little TOO much grace. I may swim in my pool and hot tub at home in the nude, but I KNOW that if I go to a public pool or a hotel pool or a friend’s pool, I should wear a swimsuit. Adults KNOW they shouldn’t be naked in places where other people are and I don’t think, “but I do it at home” is the right metric for behavior, or my son’s socks would be everywhere.

    4. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      Not OP1 but I can almost guarantee its not the mere nakedness that is causing OP to consider it creepy. There is probably something that the men do or say that doesn’t seem overtly creepy but is setting off OP’s creepometer.

  36. Juicebox Hero*

    She didn’t call men’s bodies creepy and weird. She said it’s creepy and weird that she’s encountering naked or nearly naked men when she hadn’t expected to (people have varying degrees of comfort around naked strangers, and yes, that is in fact all right, even in healthcare) and she’s worried about appearing to be caught in a compromising position with a patient.

    1. Dek*

      “She said it’s creepy and weird that she’s encountering naked or nearly naked men when she hadn’t expected to”

      I feel like that’s still not very helpful framing. I don’t doubt that there are some creeps, but I can think of a few people I personally know off the top of my head who would be likely to just expect to sleep as they always do (underwear), unless specifically told otherwise.

      It seems better to frame it as a communication issue or a misunderstanding than “creepy and weird” that some patients thought they could sleep wearing what they usually do (or don’t) wear to sleep.

      1. bamcheeks*

        I don’t actually think it’s necessarily calling the individual men who do this creepy and weird. I read it equally as, “this is a creepy and weird situation that management has put both of us in by failing to communicate clearly and have back-up options for patients who forget / don’t own sleepwear”.

        Like, I suspect that just as there are patients who use the plausible deniability for creepy purposes, there are probably others who are genuinely embarrassed to be sat their in their underpants because they didn’t think this through. Clear boundaries and expectations are for patients’ benefit too!

        1. Petty_Boop*

          Not gonna lie though; I have a hard time having sympathy for an ADULT who thinks, “I’ll go do a sleep study…in bed….at night…without bringing something to sleep in.” Like, that’s basic “bring a toothbrush, deodorant, the book I’m reading AND PJs” level stuff.

  37. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    Since temperature can have a lot to do with sleep troubles, I’m surprised that the clinic also doesn’t provide information to patients along the lines of “study rooms are maintained at X temperature”

    1. Orv*

      I’ve never worked in a big building that could keep any given room at a consistent temperature. ;)

  38. kiki*

    You would think it’s common sense to wear pajamas to sleep in, but, apparently, as I am now learning, it’s not.

    Just my two cents as a patient, but a lot of medical professionals forget that while they are in these situations every day, for a lot of patients this may be the first time they’re ever in a situation like this. That means you have to give really clear instructions. Sometimes going into more depth than you might think you need to. A lot of people are also kind of nervous or uncomfortable in medical settings, so they may not be processing instructions with their full critical thinking skills.

    I feel like I’m a pretty smart and with-it person, but whenever I go to a doctor’s office, I’ll do something wrong unless I clarify every step. If they tell me to undress for my procedure, I have to ask explicitly which clothes I should remove. There’s nothing worse than being told to undress, having the doctor return to the room, grimace, then say, “Oh, you didn’t need to get ~that~ naked.”

    Might point is that while some of the people LW encounters may be trying to be creepy and weird, I genuinely bet a lot of the folks who show up without pajamas would be relieved to have clearer instructions and reminders OR a back-up option, like a gown.

    1. TX_TRUCKER*

      +1 on the stress levels. If one of my employees (truck driver) “fails” a sleep test he could potentially become unemployed. I know more about the sleep habits of my employees than I care too.

    2. Head sheep counter*

      I think you are being overly kind to the people who the LW is concerned about. She’s concerned about the men who like to expose themselves. They are creepy. Its a thing. I don’t understand it but it is definitely a thing.

  39. Fluff*

    This is more nuanced. In a sleep clinic we are recreating their sleep environment to figure out what is hindering sleep. Many sleep hygiene experts do recommend sleeping in a cooler room and nudity (or partial nudity) is often recommended. It is understandable that patients with sleep problems do this – they are trying anything to improve their sleep. They may be exhibitionist or they really may just sleep like this normally. Yes, it skews to men. So does sleep apnea. I actually wish we would be more open to bodies in this particular area.

    I recommend working on a “minimum” clothing required for two scenarios:

    1. The interaction with professionals who are attaching all the leads. During this phase, the patient must wear X (undies, shirt, socks, hospital robe – so it is easy to remove without messing with your electrodes. You work with your team to clarify this standard and that all patients know this before the test is scheduled, and then are reminded. Also remind them about the socks, especially if they have to wear those hospital safety socks. People will rebel about those and sleep.

    2. Sleep time. Reminding patients, they are on camera and undergoing a professional evaluation. The minimum requirement is X (underwear of x, y type, sleeveless undershirt, etc.). I hope we can move to being more open to the nudity part for a sleep study.

    Make sure the reasons are included – for example, if no silk PJs, let them know it is because of electrodes.

    For “clean,” advise them when to shower. If they need to, make sure the patient can shower at the clinic before the study. People come from work and not everyone can time their shower down time with night. I am amazed at home many folks show up for these tests from work and go right back to work.

    Many people are quite anxious about sleep studies – yikes I hope I never have to have one (professionals watching me sleep burp, fart, talk, drool like a T rex who just found a dead brontosaur?). Ack.

    Focus on the positive for them: bring your favorite pillow, stuffy, etc. They do at my workplace. the stuffies are so endearing. Big truck drivers bring their stuffed team mascots, worn teddy bears. One person brought their 2 meter long fluffy caterpillar. When their kid outgrew up, the adult adopted it and it is well loved.

    1. Fluff*

      type at home = at how many folks cannot shower before their tests because they come from work…

      And yes, for those who wanted it, there is a cute stuffy photo board in the clinic,

  40. Rock Prof*

    For #5, I know it’s not the same as employment verification, but I often provide references for students who did unpaid, credit bearing research work with me. I’ve never had a prospective employer have issues with that at all.

    1. lyonite*

      And if there is a question about the background check, especially for something so far in the past, the employer or the company doing the check is likely to call you for clarification. (I had this happen with some confusion about my education.) It’s the sort of thing that’s much more likely to be an error than fraud, and most places aren’t just looking for an excuse to reject you at this stage!

  41. AvonLady Barksdale*

    #3: I consider myself to be pretty old-school, work is a priority, blah blah blah, but your best friend died! Not only do you need to take care of yourself right now, you are probably not able to make useful contributions to your work. If you need to call out, call out. If the “urgent work” cannot get done without you in an emergency (and this IS an emergency), then your workplace is a disaster.

    A few months ago someone close to me lost her spouse very suddenly. Granted, I am in a job where I am senior and have a good deal of flexibility, but nothing could have kept me from leaving my desk and getting to my friend as soon as possible. I didn’t give any details until I was back (except to my boss), but I did tell people I had a “family emergency” and I would be in touch sporadically. To a person, these people– not my friends, mind you, I barely tolerate some of them– said they hoped everything was ok and they rearranged meetings if they had to. Because most humans have been through something like that and in a relatively normal workplace, sh*t happens.

    If your workplace is not a place that can handle the sh*t that just happens… please look for another workplace.

    1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      excellent point — yes OP3 your work would be shifted to others if you call out. But then you can extend the same courtesy to others — like your coworker whose child committed suicide — when they need a hand.

    2. kiki*

      Yeah, while I understand that everyone deals with grief differently, I’ve seen a lot of people who opted to work through something tough and it actually made the situation worse than if they had just taken some time off to begin with. A lot of times, coworkers would rather you take the time off and delegate the task to somebody else rather than have delays or have to spend time working with somebody who is clearly in distress.

  42. Sneaky Squirrel*

    #5 – As someone who used to run background checks for a company, almost every single recent graduate that we ran a background check for flagged for similar reasons you’re describing. Many recent grads cite unpaid work -or- I’ve seen a lot of the alternative where students break out multiple paid jobs and the school comes back and shows their work history very differently because they don’t keep the records of “start” & “stop” dates and jobs the way students do. Very rarely did we actually care! We understood it was a student employment thing and that students often counted unpaid work in their experience. It’s likely they’ll have encountered this before and will have a plan to address it if they hire on the regular. But if you would feel comfortable letting HR know that your job was unpaid, you could also give them that heads up as might have suggestions on how to make the background check easier.

  43. Tegan Keenan*

    LW#2: I would check with your CFO or whomever is responsible for the organization’s financial audit and 990 tax return to make sure you are tracking your upgrades appropriately. They may suggest another method of upgrading that will make things easier on the audit end.

    I would not approach it as you asking permission to do the upgrades; just that you want to ensure you are documenting everything they need documented in the correct manner.

    Depending on the size of your organization and how long you have worked there, the CFO may not be aware of the upgrades yet. You don’t want them to discover it in several months when they start the audit procedure and get questions from the auditor. It’s no fun to have to reconstruct documentation. And it could make your CFO very surly.

    Signed, Someone With Experience Making Her CFO Surly

    1. Petty_Boop*

      Why would the LW’s upgrades even be accounted for AT ALL by her company when it’s her money and/or her miles being used? They in no way fiscally impact her employer. I work for DoD and they couldn’t give 2 flying figs if I upgrade w/ my own money or miles. They certainly don’t in any way account for or audit it.

    2. H3llifIknow*

      “I would check with your CFO or whomever is responsible for the organization’s financial audit and 990 tax return to make sure you are tracking your upgrades appropriately. ”

      Ummm why? If these upgrades are not subsidized/paid for etc.. by the company, they shouldn’t be in the companies books and subject to audit. I think you completely misunderstood the LW’s question. I book upgrades quite often. My company has NOTHING to do with it. I request reimbursement for base fares only, so why would it matter to my CFO? What exactly are you worried about them “discover[ing] several months in when they start the audit”? Nothing here makes sense.

  44. Madame Señora*

    OP #1, If you do end up requesting the clinic provide gowns / pjs for patients, it might be a good idea to specify size inclusive garments. I’ve been to more than one appointment where the provided gown didn’t fit. I know a lot of people in larger bodies can develop sleep apnea so it would really suck to be handed something to sleep in that’s too small.

  45. AvonLady Barksdale*

    #2: I’m not especially wealthy (I do ok) and I do this all the time. Well, maybe not a lot, but if I’m flying an airline where I don’t have status, I’ll pay extra to get a better seat. I will also take myself out to a really good dinner and not expense it if it’s way over our suggested limit. My friends do it too… except the ones who work in certain non-profits and NGOs. It sounds like you work for one of those types of jobs where the optics are a thing, but you’re being conscientious about it and not upgrading when you understand the optics are bad. So I would say you’re fine and going about it in a way that makes sense.

    One of my friends is doing a work trip that involves a verrrrrry long travel day en route to a remote part of the world. No upgrading allowed. She’s bummed, but she gets it. I, on the other hand, would gladly pay for an upgrade (within reason and budget). Maybe not if I were traveling with a big group of co-workers, but traveling alone, absolutely.

    1. Petty_Boop*

      Is it her company telling her no upgrades are permitted? Or is it the airline, they just don’t have them available? It feels wrong for a company to tell her “no upgrades allowed” if she does it with her own money/miles. Like, how would they even KNOW? I work for DoD and cannot at ALL expense an upgrade, but I can do whatever I want with my own money/miles.

  46. Phony Genius*

    On #1, there is a lot of good advice above. But when discussing this with management, I would avoid using the word “unprofessional” in the context used by the LW. Patients are not professionals and shouldn’t be held to such a standard. The rest of LW’s points are valid and should be the focus of the discussion.

  47. Nay*

    #3 – I am right there with you. I had a miscarriage earlier this year, and I didn’t want to take time off really (other than 4-day weekend for the procedure, it was a missed miscarriage) because I wanted the stability and distraction work can also provide. Also, I’ve been managing some very large and important projects lately, and I didn’t want to fall behind.

    I ended up telling my manager, who was amazingly sympathetic, because I wanted her to have context in case anyone complained I seemed off or behind or something, or I needed to leave a little early or take a longer lunch for extra rest, just to give me flexibility where she could. And she did give me that flexibility. After about 2 months I have been feeling a lot better day to day.

    For the people I work more closely with, I just told them that I was dealing with some personal stuff, and no one asked any clarifying questions or anything, they showed some concern and understanding, and we all went on with our lives.

    I know not everyone has a great manager they can basically say ‘hey, we’re trying to get pregnant’ to, (or co-workers who don’t ask nosey questions) but, the vague communication was enough for everyone else. I hope that you are healing, I believe it will take time, and it will probably get worse before it gets better, but it will get easier. I encourage you to ask for what you need, and I hope people will surprise you with their kindness.

  48. waiting for zoom godot*

    #4: We call those “working meetings”. I too would not be comfortable with “get shit done” meetings. Is it possible for you to just rename them? Maybe say you dislike having even more acronyms floating around.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      But keeping it as GSD makes it less crude as it’s just letters and you can assume the S means “Stuff”. Saying you don’t like another acronym will likely result in it just getting called “get shit done” meetings.

    2. Petty_Boop*

      “Get Shit Done” isn’t spelled out though. The OP can reframe it as “Get Stuff Done” or “Go Sit Down” or “Gonna Start Dancing” or whatever he/she wants the acronym to be in his/her head.

  49. CommanderBanana*

    The biggest issue for me are men (it’s mostly men who do this) who strip down to their tightie-whities or state they sleep naked.

    Once again I am compelled to ask, men, are you ok?

    1. Petty_Boop*

      I mean, my husband sleeps in his undies. I sleep in undies and a comfort bra. What’s the difference? I slept nude for years before my kids got old enough to crawl into bed with us and I’m a woman. Would I do it in public? No. Would my husband? No. But honestly, I don’t find sleeping in undies/boxers/boxer briefs THAT offensive, either. As long as the junk is covered, I’d be okay. Nudity? No, Undies? Meh.

  50. Observer*

    #3 – Need help and don’t know how to ask for it:

    It’s a very intense environment where people are often curt with each other, and I thrive in that usually, but some days I just have a lower tolerance.

    This concerns me a lot, because it really seems to be minimizing what is actually a toxic culture. Environments can be “intense” without people being curt with each other.
    What’s worse, though is that it’s not just surface “curtness” that’s an issue here. The idea that someone cannot ever have any time “off” is bad on its own. The fact that you are SO leery of mentioning that “something awful” happened to you is concerning as well. That’s not TMI or highly personal information by any stretch of the imagination. Why are you so worried about saying it?

    What’s makes this even more concerning is the fact that “cannot take off” seems to be literal – unless you’re in the hospital you can’t take off.

    Your best friend died, but you “couldn’t” take off. And anyway grieving is not something you do, it’s just unproductive “staring at the walls”, as you put it. I’m not trying to scold here – you are clearly dealing with a lot. But it’s telling that you simply cannot see yourself making space for you own humanity.

    I would be wondering if it’s just that you are misreading your company or being too hard on yourself. But there is your coworker who is even more deeply into this culture. I mean her child tried to commit suicide. That’s huge. The fact that she didn’t tell anyone is one thing – I get that not everyone wants to share these details. But the fact that she didn’t take off any time at all is very telling. Again, it’s not that I expect everyone to handle crisis in the same way, but given the context (ie that there are now *two* of you who haven’t taken a breather to deal with major life issues) it’s concerning.

    In the meantime, keep Allison’s last comment in mind. Despite the curtness all around you, try to keep people’s humanity in the forefront and treat them with, at minimum, patience and courtesy. But also, maybe start thinking about whether this is a healthy environment.

  51. LS*

    They’re sleeping in a clinic, in a strange room, in a strange bed, with a mattress totally different from their usual, and with sheets that are totally different from their usual, with electrodes stuck to their bodies, being observed by multiple people while their biometric data are recorded.

    But god forbid they be asked to wear shorts. That would be WAY too different from what they’re used to.

  52. RagingADHD*

    An awful lot of people on this thread are wildly misunderstanding what a sleep study is like, and what is meant by providers attempting to replicate your normal sleep conditions “as much as possible.”

    The clinicians want you to eat and drink similarly before you arrive (or bring snacks with you), go to bed at a similar time, and do a close approximation of your normal wind-down routine such as washing up, reading screen time, playing music, white noise, etc. The techs can turn the temperature up or down to some extent on request. They can give you extra blankets or pillows. They can arrange the equipment so that you can sleep on either side of the bed.

    The physical circumstances in which you will be sleeping are never, ever, going to replicate your normal experience. You’re wired up to electrodes, a pulse oximeter, a chest strap to measure your breathing, and sometimes other types of monitors as well. You’re on a strange mattress, with a strange pillow, in a strange room, under video surveillance. If you need to get up and use the restroom, you have to buzz to be unhooked.

    Your pets and partner aren’t there. It smells different. There probably won’t be windows that you can open, and if you did, the light would be coming from the wrong direction. You have a bed, not a couch or recliner, or whatever else you might normally sleep on.

    Nobody is getting a comfy and familiar night’s sleep. Honestly, compared to having a bunch of wires glued to your head and chest and strapped to all sorts of monitors, I can’t imagine that a t shirt and shorts or hospital gown is going to make a difference in whether or not someone can fall asleep. It’s the least of your worries.

    If a person can only sleep at home under conditions that cannot be replicated in a lab, there are home-study devices you can hook up yourself and send back with recorded data. You can be as naked as a jaybird, sleep with the window open, vape, snuggle five dogs, hang from the ceiling, or whatever. But when you’re in a lab, you are in a lab.

    Neither a home study device nor a lab is ever going to be exactly the same as the way you usually sleep. That doesn’t invalidate the results, it just has to be accounted for in analyzing the results. There is no way to measure anything without … measuring it, and whatever you do to measure something has a knock-on effect of some kind. This is a known principle of all types of scientific measurement, and the assumption is built in.

    Most sleep labs instruct patients to sleep in loose fitting two-piece clothing. The LW’s lab either does not, or has not properly instructed LW and their coworkers on what to do when patients don’t follow directions.

    1. I AM a Lawyer*

      For me, thinking that I could accidentally, at any time, expose my naked body to a stranger during the night would make me completely unable to sleep. I can’t imagine wanting to be nude at a sleep study for any reason.

  53. HonorBox*

    #1 – I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask patients to have some sort of clothing on. Sure, people sleep how they sleep, and while a sleep study should make them as comfortable as possible, it isn’t just about the patient’s comfort. There are plenty of others around that sleep study that have a reasonable expectation that they don’t need to have people’s bits potentially in plain view. And it isn’t comparable to someone having a pelvic or hernia exam, where that “nudity” is confined to a smaller portion of time and is there for a specific reason. Asking that patients wear loose fitting “pajamas” (and I’d suggest that examples could be given for what might constitute “pajamas” because you don’t want people feeling like they have to buy something special) for the duration of the study isn’t asking them too much. People will be uncomfortable already. Wearing a cover to your top and bottom may not be their preferred sleep attire, but it also not suggesting that they do anything that is outside of the norm. The study is about sleep, and there’s no need for additional exposure. OP, just make the suggestion that your instructions make that portion BOLD and repeat it several times, both in print and in vocalized instruction.

    I sleep with less clothing than some, but if the instruction was to have appropriate coverage, I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

  54. Not Always Right*

    First off, why on earth does anyone think it is OK to sleep in the nude at a sleep study? I mean, think about it. Different people sleep on that one bed almost every night. You are exposing your naked body to heaven only knows from strangers. The very idea makes me shudder. Yes, I know the beds are probably sanitized after each use, and for sure clean sheets are provided, but still… Yuk! Secondly, I know I would not want to sleep in the same bed the next night after some stranger slept naked on the same mattress. Thirdly, common courtesy and common sense would tell you that you should wear pajamas.

    I have participated in a sleep study, so I do know how it goes. I wore my favorite pajamas and brought my favorite pillow. I still was uncomfortable as all get out and I did not sleep as well. The mattress was hard as a rock, so I could not stay in one position for very long. Every time I wanted to roll over, I was very much aware of the wires that were attached, especially when they would come loose and the stupid machine would start beeping. Sorry, I got away from my original rant. LOL. A little off topic, but I seem to remember reading about some sleep studies that can be done at home. It has been a few years, but I wonder if that is now more common.

    1. Petty_Boop*

      I know! I’ve rarely been as tired in my life as I was the morning after my sleep study!

  55. MCMonkeyBean*

    For LW5, if it doesn’t show up in the background check they will presumably reach out with a chance to explain it.

    When my current job ran a background check there was an issue in my employment verification because I said I worked for Well Known Company and the background check reported back that I worked for Payroll Pseudonym. My offer letter and all my employment documents had Well Known Company listed and I had no idea that for payroll purposes I was apparently listed as working under the Pseudonym Subsidiary. But they reached out to me and we cleared it all up and everything was fine!

  56. LavaLamp (she/her)*

    OP 1: I work in hospital laundry. I suggest you ask for pajama bottoms or scrub sets if you can. Whatever laundry provides for you should be able to guide on what would be most useful.

  57. BellyButton*

    #3 I am so sorry for your loss. Please, take time off. When I confided in my boss about some personal things I was dealing with he listened, sympathized, and demanded I take the rest of the week off. I didn’t realize just how overwhelmed I was until I had a few days off. I got an appointment with my therapist right away and took a few days to care for myself and to actually think/process what had all been going on, and to just breath.

    Please take care of yourself.

  58. Tobias Funke*

    Didn’t have “arguing passionately for the right to expose oneself to medical professionals” on my bingo card for this morning!

    1. Head sheep counter*

      +1 with a healthy dose of disregarding actual professionals who state that the issue is an issue.

    2. H3llifIknow*

      The number of people on here arguing that it is, in fact, a right, is mind boggling. Let me say this plainly, NOBODY had the RIGHT to expose their GENITALS to ANYONE else, EVER, regardless of how comfortable and accustomed they may be to doing it AT HOME. PERIOD. Like, how is this even a discussion? A tank top or tshirt and boxers or short will NOT kill you. I promise. Holy Christ.

  59. Nomic*

    LW1: “You would think it’s common sense to wear pajamas to sleep in, but, apparently, as I am now learning, it’s not. ”

    I am judging much of your letter though the lens of this single statement. This statement is just odd. The way you were raised (I assume wearing PJs to bed) is definitely valid, but it’s not the “common sense” way. It’s just the way you are used to. It makes me wonder if you are bringing internalized prejudice toward people who don’t wear PJs to bed, and calling something that people assume is the default as “creepy, unprofessional , and plain weird”.

    Now, personally I would change my sleeping habits if I were doing a sleep study, but my normal sleeping habits are not creepy, unprofessional , and plain weird just because I don’t wear PJs.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      I don’t think the LW is saying it’s common sense to wear PJs to bed in their own home, but that it’s common sense to wear them when you’re going to be watched by a number of people. And yes, I do think that seems like common sense.

      1. Nomic*

        That would certainly make more sense, but that isn’t how I read the letter. I will re-read with that in mind.

      2. Petty_Boop*

        100%. I would never assume the way I act/dress/whatever at home is the way I should act/dress/whatever in a public setting. That’s a level of… I don’t know, narcissim? Entitlement? Something. It is common sense that “I can be naked at home in my own private space, but that is not normal in front of OTHER PEOPLE in a PUBLIC SPACE.” I don’t understand the number of people being all, “oh but people who sleep naked at home don’t know any better,” like WHAT? I might eat food with my hands standing over the sink at home but I don’t do it in PUBLIC. That’s…silly.

    2. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

      I could have been more clear. I used to think it was common sense for one to wear clothing outside of one’s home, especially when in a professional medical setting out in public. I know not everyone wears jammies at home. We do patient set-ups with the room doors wide open and the restroom is a communal restroom so I naively thought people would prefer some cover outside of their home.

        1. Name_Required*

          I don’t think it’s even a matter of preference so much as a matter of “well I shouldn’t show my junk to strangers, cuz they might find it WEIRD.”

    3. Name_Required*

      “t makes me wonder if you are bringing internalized prejudice toward people who don’t wear PJs to bed”

      Ummmm what? Thinking people wearing NOTHING to bed in a PUBLIC setting is not “internalized prejudice.” There is a weird level of virue signaling in this forum, where nobody is permitted to think that anything, no matter how odd, is odd. Sleeping nude at home, whatever. Sleeping nude in a public setting? Odd. You are permitted to think that odd behavior is odd w/o thinking it is “prejudice” for being odd. Some things are just NOT common sense and some things are just NOT appropriate. Period.

  60. Name_Required*

    1) I’ve done several sleep studies and was always told to bring loose comfy clothes to sleep in. When my husband did his, he was told boxers and a Tshirt was fine.

    2) #4, just reframe “GSD” as “Gettin’ stuff done” instead of “shit” and maybe you’ll feel better about it. You can read it however you want on your calendar!

  61. Ess Ess*

    OP#2 – you should definitely check about whether they frown on upgrading yourself. I used to do travel arrangements for a department at a state university. There was an order from upper administration that NO ONE was allowed to travel in business or first class while traveling for work. It was very specific that people could not even upgrade themselves. They did not like the optics if someone saw an employee on a business trip sitting in the expensive zones. It didn’t matter if you had paid for your own upgrade, the person that saw you wouldn’t know that and it would made the university look like they were frivolous with donor money.

    Since OP is with a nonprofit, this would have the same effect on potential donors who could also have the same internal (mistaken) negative impression of the nonprofit’s financial responsibility.

  62. bmorepm*

    It’s far more likely that the sleep study instructions do say to bring clothing for sleeping in, but some patients don’t review the paperwork thoroughly. A lot of people in the comments have assumed they don’t currently provide that instruction, but the letter writer hasn’t indicated that. They may need to highlight it, or make an effort to make a verbal comment to patients.

  63. Ess Ess*

    I’ve never done a sleep study, but I would have assumed that they were trying to assess issues with your normal sleep. So I would have expected that they would want you to be as close to your normal sleep routine as possible. Many people do not sleep in pajamas so I do find it odd to make someone wear pajamas in a test that is supposed to be identifying issues with your home sleep. I would expect medical professionals to be used to human bodies. I’m very surprised to learn that they require pajamas for people that don’t normally use them.

    1. Xanna*

      My normal bedtime involves lighting incense, and cuddling with my cat, neither of which are appropriate for a hospital setting either?

  64. SleepyCorvidae*

    Before I switched careers, I was a certified RPSGT by the BRPT so please allow me to add a few things for LW#1 and to address some comments here.

    Every lab I worked with required a shower before coming to the sleep lab, and a clean 2 piece pajama outfit. Clean skin is better for electrical conductivity for the Ten20 paste and electrodes we attach. Better signal means potentially fewer issues during the study. Not only for the head ‘trodes but for the ECG and legs as well.

    A two piece pajama allows for easier running of body (ECG and legs) wires both under the top pajama and over the bottom pajama fabric. This reduces the chances of someone pulling out a wire in the night and then we would have to wake up the pt. to fix that wire. For the legs, you’d tape to the fabric, harder for slick pajamas, tape won’t adhere well. The chest belts are done over the top pajama, and depending on the belt type they may not feel good against bare skin. This is all comfort for the pt., and I do understand sensory issues myself from my own autism and having had 4 studies done because I have sleep apnea as well.

    Now, something to consider: all sleep studies are video and audio recorded. Do you feel comfortable with the idea that your nudity would be recorded? Yes, it would be a violation of HIPPA if it was released somehow, but that would be of little comfort if a hacking was successful and your nudity was spread around the internet.

    My $0.02

  65. Yup*

    Reading so many letters and comments that overlook the very real issue of sexism in the workplace–defining it as normal behaviour as opposed to normalized behaviour–makes me yearn to see a whole blog/day/week devoted to spotting these issues (sexism, racism, genderism, etc.), how we can push back, and what a better approach looks like.

    I think people do want a more equitable and inclusive workforce, but we often fail to understand what that looks like and what’s preventing it from happening. That’s my wish on a coin tossed into the AAM fountain!

  66. Lizzianna*

    #2, the other optics I would be considerate of would be other non-profit employees you’re traveling with, especially if you’re senior to them or have any say in their compensation.

    If they’re struggling to afford housing (which is common in many non-profit jobs in high cost of living cities), it’s not a great look if you’re staying in a suite or flying first class while they’re back in coach or at the Motel 6 or having to share a room with a coworker.

    If pay is fair, and at or above market rate, and your employees are financially stable, I don’t know that it matters. I’m in government, and there have been a few times when I was traveling with our Regional Director and he upgraded to first class. He flies back to DC about once a month, so I assume has enough points to upgrade his ticket. It doesn’t bother me at all, because I feel like I’m paid fairly for my work. But this is the kind of thing where, if you’re already feeling like leadership is out of touch, would rub salt in that particular wound.

  67. Jademelody*

    As a medical professional and someone used to seeing naked bodies, the goal during any procedure is to only have the patient disrobe as much as needed to complete the procedure/testing. This is first and foremost for the dignity and the comfort of the patient, but also medical staff have the right to not see more of the patient than necessart to complete their job competently. And as a female presenting person, I don’t think non-medical people realize how many men get a kick out if trying to make women uncomfortable. It’s definitely no where near all, but it is shockingly common. Because of this, most of us get good at setting firm boundaries regarding clothing and not tolerating inappropriate behavior (verbal/physical) I work with mainly older adults and frequently have male patients who prefer to lay in bed naked or in just a diaper/brief. They learn quickly that for my treatment sessions they must wear at least a tshirt and shorts.

  68. Y’all CraZy*

    As a woman in medicine, it sure shines a light on why we have such a huge sexual harassment issue in the US when the majority of responses to the sleep study question include both men and women believing they have “a right to expose themselves” for their own personal comfort during a medical procedure/treatment/study.

    Some of you may feel extremely defensive about how I worded that above-I encourage you to sit with that defensiveness for awhile. Reflect. Your opinions on this are not okay.

        1. I Have RBF*

          Yeah. Expecting people to sleep naked in a situation where they will be observed and/or recorded is just weird, and a bit exhibitionist, IMO. It’s the difference between summer camp and your house.

    1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

      Yes, yes, yes, an THANK YOU for expressing this so clearly and concisely!

  69. I'm just here for the cats!*

    Some of the comments on LW 1 our just wild. Yes, if you work in healthcare you probably are going to see a naked body. But that is within the context of that procedure like what Jademelody above stated it is the right of the staff not to see more of the patient than absolutely necessary. It is not necessary to sleep naked.

    Jessica Steinrock (@intimacy_coordinator_ ) on Instagram has shared how she’s had to have conversations with actors who want to walk around set with no clothes. They may feel ok with it, but this is a work place and the others on set have not consented to seeing a naked body.

    So similarly, the patient may be ok with being watched naked, but the other workers, especially those who have to physically touch the patient, have not consented.

  70. Productivity Pigeon*

    If it was just a question of “some people just like to sleep naked” then patients of all genders and ages would present with this issue.
    Since it’s obviously just one particular group who seems to do it… I’d say there’s a different explanation.

    1. Hexiv*

      I don’t know that that’s exactly the case, I think it’s “some people like to sleep naked”>”many women understandably feel threatened by the prospect of sleeping naked in a semi-public space”>therefore, only men present naked at the sleep clinic.

  71. BeAppropriateWithYourMedicalStaff*

    I recently managed a sleep center for a well known healthcare institution. We kept inexpensive paper scrubs on hand for patients who “ forgot” their pajamas. Patients are told when scheduling their sleep study and also during their reminder call that they MUST wear two piece pajamas, and will be provided with paper scrubs if they do not bring appropriate sleepwear. We have encountered similar situations with patients refusing, but I empowered the staff to refuse to complete a study and send the patient home if they were unwilling to put on clothing, as does the new manager.

  72. I AM LW#1- The Sleep Tech*

    Hello everyone, I want to thank those of you who left thoughtful comments and advice about navigating my new work place- Thank you very much! I have emailed the lab manager about providing some sort of cover-up for patients in need, and I will update here at a later date after I get a response. You can be sure I centered my reasoning on patient comfort.
    From the comments it seems most labs have back-up cover ups just in case so I don’t understand why that’s not the norm where I work. It’s a world famous, prominent health care network so I assume budget comes into play? One of my patients last week seemed flummoxed when I gave him time to change. He sincerely said, “no one told me to bring pajamas” so I gave him an extra blanket to cover up during the set-up process, which can take up to an hour depending on the patient. The thing about that is we will not always have extra blankets for people depending on the day of the week and the timing of the last laundry pick-up and drop off. Another one of my patients just slept in her street clothes.
    My co-workers agree that our facility should have at least hospital gowns for patients who forget or intentionally do not bring sleepwear. Some of my co-workers were CNAs and LPNs in the past so they have seen it all and are maybe used to things that I consider outlandish or impolite/unprofessional. They like to tease me when I voice my grievances concerning “creeps” or entitled patients, and say, “you have no idea how bad it can get!”. They all are generally supportive of me as a student and new employee. I am grateful to have them as teachers and team members. If any patient is out of line, we form a unified front and tell them they are free to leave.
    I want to address this explicitly- I worked for Burning Man for years, I am not “prudish about nudity”. I am also not a young girl with no life experience. I am middle aged with a BS in biology/ecology, about 25 years of physical outdoor labor under my belt, and brand new to the healthcare profession. I chose to go into sleep (after my first sleep study 3 years ago) because I knew I could help people in real time, and the science behind sleep is fascinating. Also, it’s much calmer, and safer than working outdoors. The majority of my patients are fine. That being said, when creeps find an opportunity to be creepy they will indeed exploit that opportunity to their advantage. I don’t think people who sleep unclothed are inherently creepy. I do think the patient from last week who looked me in the eye and waggled his eyebrows at me while stating, “I sleep in my underwear”, and then asked me for a “robe to wear back and forth to the restroom” was a “creepy old man”. I’ll die on that hill, thanks.
    Last thing, we techs try to make people feel as comfy as possible under the circumstances. Afterall, we need 6 hours of sleep to produce a good looking study for you. We want you to sleep. I am huge on consent, openly communicate with, and educate my patients. I do not touch anyone without first informing them that I need to touch their legs, face and head. I pantomime how I do the set-up and explain my expectations before any undressing can occur. Respect and professionalism/politeness can and should go both ways.

    1. Not your typical admin*

      It sounds like the biggest issue your place faces is communication with patients and having a backup plan for those who didn’t know/forgot/choose to not bring sleepwear. Also, they should give you the power to ask anyone who is inappropriate to leave.

    2. Hlao-roo*

      Thank you for providing more details, here and elsewhere in the comments! Sorry to hear some of your coworkers aren’t supportive when you report creepy patients. I’m sure have dealt with a lot worse than a guy saying “I sleep in my underwear” with an eyebrow waggle, but that doesn’t mean eyebrow-waggle-guy isn’t creepy (he totally is)!

  73. Hexiv*

    Reading all the comments, now I’m wondering if I committed a faux pas by not bringing pajamas to my sleep study. I didn’t know if they would provide pajamas or make me sleep naked or in a hospital gown (after all, they usually make you take off your clothes for an exam at the doctor’s office), and I often sleep in my clothes, so I just . . . turned up and slept in my clothes.

    1. Chriama*

      I don’t think it’s a faux pas, just was probably a bit uncomfortable for you (although as a kid i never had pjs and I’m pretty sure I actually just slept in my street clothes, so maybe not that uncomfortable!) The way I see it, the issue isn’t really about people not bringing pjs. It’s about:

      A) making sure patients are properly informed (and changing the messaging process if details are slipping through the cracks)

      B) having clear policies to prevent any attempts at boundary-pushing behaviour

      C) having backups for patients who fall into categories A or B above. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know or “didn’t know”, luckily there’s always a set of paper scrubs available and the policy is you wear your clothes or the scrubs.

  74. Whyamihere*

    I don’t think I would be able to do a sleep study. I sleep naked and if I do wear Jammie’s because I am say at my parents I wear satin or base layers when I am camping which are tight. I would never be able to sleep comfortably which would ruin the sleep study.

  75. I Once Didn’t Notice a Jogging Flasher Was Naked*

    I find the conversation around #1 (clothing during sleep studies) fascinating. I used to work nights as an RN on a unit that had patients of various levels of mobility who would stay for 1-4 weeks or longer. We occasionally had patients who slept in the nude (they tended to be on the more independent end of the physical ability spectrum). They’d tell us and we’d be sure to keep the door closed. The standard anyway was closed doors and knock to enter, so we just shrugged and said “okay.” And no, nakedness did not faze us (unless it involves other inappropriate conduct).

    Regarding boundaries, yes, staff in a clinical setting are still allowed to have them. If a person’s behavior became inappropriate, we’d make sure they were safe and say goodbye. But the vast majority of nude patient interactions (at least among our alert and oriented crowd) were utterly without malice. I’m sure it does happen, maybe in some fields more than others, but I strongly suspect a *lot* of people sleep in minimal or no clothing at home, for several reasons.

    All that being said, sometimes we’d spell the sleep study folks down the hall while they took breaks, and that was an entirely different ball of wax. They had different standards for what constituted a patient “need,” and they also required PJs.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to require PJs. I also don’t think it’s unreasonable for patients to be annoyed by that, nor for sleep techs to be annoyed by patients not complying. If it is in the rules, yes, keep something on hand- scrubs, gowns, something extra washable. I’d say reschedule if they do not comply with coverage, but realistically, the sleep techs may not have that power. If clothing is not explicitly in the rules, it seems unfair to be scandalized by people trying to sleep nude. It is extra unfair to immediately find sexual malice in that choice, regardless of rules, unless other behavior by the individual suggests otherwise.

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