Well, somebody hath murdered sleep

First of all, welcome to any new readers who may have come in by way of the link at The American Spectator. I promise you that I don’t always blog about my physical health.

Sometimes, for variety, I blog about my emotional health.

“How did my sleep study go?” a breathless nation asks. Well, it was different from what I expected in terms of details, but pretty much exactly what I expected in the essentials.

The ambiance was less clinical than I had foreseen, and the bed in the room they gave me (furnished to look like a small motel room) was more comfortable than I expected.

That benefit is lost, though, when you’re trying to sleep with two straps fastened around your body and you have to lie on top of various tubes and wires. For a guy who can be kept awake at night by the sound of a fly walking on the ceiling, it wasn’t promising (by the way, they tell you that the gunk they use to stick the electrodes on in your hair shampoos right out. Consumer report: No. No, it doesn’t).

According to their records, I slept more than I thought I did, but their definition of sleep and mine aren’t entirely congruent. I did get into deep sleep (REM sleep) for a couple of periods. And I had some incidences of apnea (where your throat closes up and you stop breathing).

The thing is, I’m apparently on the low end of the apnea scale. This is a fact that speaks to the paranoid in me. They gave me a CPAP machine and sent me home with it, with the idea that I’d go back to see them in a month and we’d decide whether I’d stay with it or not. However, the doctor also told me it might take six weeks or longer to really see much benefit.

So I can’t help suspecting that my own doctor (who’s actually just a Physician’s Assistant) is getting a kickback from the clinic for sending anybody who remotely resembles a sleep apnea patient to them. And they, in turn, prescribe the machines to anybody who snorts a few times a night.

On the other hand, I do feel tired a lot, and I’d like to have more energy and a better attitude. They tell me this might help.

I have no idea what to do about it.

I went back in to work for the afternoon half-day. I had plenty on my desk, but I took time to give blood at the annual blood drive, because it’s not like they’ll be back next month.

You know that informational notice they make you read beforehand? The one that started out as one sheet, then became two, then three pages? It’s about eight pages now.

I worry that the blood bank people (who do a fine work) are getting safety measured out business.

Imagine giving blood ten years from now. It will probably involve reading 300 pages of closely spaced information and informed consent contracts. It will require taking a whole day off from work and submitting to a strip search, a CAT scan and a rectal examination. You’ll have to fill out a form detailing whom you’ve had sexual relations with, whom you’ve had lunch with, and whom you’ve stood next to in the Men’s Room, along with the social security numbers and sexual histories of all such persons.

And I can see the story on the TV news. “Blood stocks are down again, for the eightieth month in a row. Officials are at a loss to account for the drop in volunteer blood donors.”

And that will be before the HIV activists win the court case recognizing their constitutional right to donate infected blood without being discriminated against.

One thought on “Well, somebody hath murdered sleep”

  1. As an old fisherman, I’m an expert on sleep Lars, so let me give you some adice. Get up at 3:30, do strenguous physical labor for 16-18 hours, go in to some bay and throw out your anchor. (If you can lift it. If you can’t lift it, kick it over the side.) You’ll be asleep before you hit the pillow.

    – Alas; I’ve rarely had a good sleep since I quit fishing. (Not that I’m sure it was worth it; nor do I recommend switching your profession 🙂

    – it’s funny that I have a terrible time sleeping now if I can hear the slightest noise; but I used to be able to fall asleep (with no problem) a few feet from a diesel engine running full blast.

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