“I shall need to sleep three weeks on end to get rested from the rest I’ve had.”
“Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
“I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.”
Around 7:45 pm last night, I arrived at the University of Tennessee Sleep Disorders Center, at UT Medical Center. Randy, my technician, greeted me at the door. Randy was instrumental in making this experience more pleasant than I anticipated. He led me to Room 3, which reminded me of many hotels rooms I’d seen. There was a full-sized bed, a table with two chairs and a lamp, and a comfortable stuffed chair. A flat-screen television sat high on the wall, and there was a sink and large mirror at the back of the room. To the left of the sink, was a small room with a toilet and bathtub with shower. Doesn’t that remind you of hotel rooms you’ve visited?
The concessions to the hospital ambience were few: an acoustic tile ceiling (which held the video camera), and no towels. A paper towel and soap dispenser lined the wall near the sink. There was no coffee pot, either, but Randy was quick to bring me coffee this morning (which was much appreciated!).
After the introduction and paperwork, I was left to amuse myself. Did you know that there are only 4 contestants left on American Idol? It’s amazing how quickly this year has flown! Randy came in and had me practice with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. I put a mask over my mouth and nose, and air rushed through a tube connected to the mask. It was really more pleasant that it sounds! By the time, he returned, I was more relaxed and getting sleepier.
Randy Jackson and crew fawned over all the contestants, and Randy the Tech told me it was time to get ready for bed. I put on my pajamas, and he came in with his wires. By the time he was through, I was literally and liberally wired from head to toe. I had an elastic belt around my waist, and another around my chest. With all of this connectivity, they were able to monitor my breathing, movements, and heart rate. Sadly, they monitored the snoring, too! By the time the night was through, they would know more than they ever wanted to know about me! In fact, according to another handy booklet by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, ”A typical sleep study is about 1,000 pages of data of various kinds (for example, brain waves, muscle movements, and eye movements)”.
I wondered how I would ever get to sleep with all that wiring; but my doctor sent a sample of Lunesta, which helped tremendously. Within 15 minutes of lights out, I was asleep. My next memory is of Randy telling me we could end the test now! I hadn’t awakened at all during the night. Whether that was the earlier bedtime, the Lunesta, or the good sleep hygiene I practiced yesterday, I don’t yet know. I’m sure my doctor will let me know…as well as the 1,000 pages or so with my name on them. Whatever the result, I had one restful night’s sleep last night.
I have another night scheduled next Tuesday night. If I didn’t have any problems last night, they will cancel that appointment. We’ll see what develops. In the meantime, I would have to recommend this experience to anyone who can’t get a restful night’s sleep. There are 84 distinct sleeping disorders; and they are devastating to your health and your ability to function effectively. For more information, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Meanwhile, I’m going to have a productive day…possibly without falling asleep!