In mid-June, I went boldly where I had never gone before – I went to a Sleep Clinic. My doctor is doing her due-diligence to help reveal the potential cause of my high blood pressure and she wanted to find out if Sleep Apnea may be the culprit. I wrote this post about my experience of trying to actually sleep so the study would be effective.
As it turns out, during the nine and a half hours I was
incarcerated hooked up to the monitors, I got an assorted six hours of sleep from which they could extrapolate their results. I do have a mild form of Sleep Apnea, but nothing that will require me to wear one of these while I sleep.
I suffer from what they refer to as ‘fragmented sleep’ which is on the mid-to-low-level of Sleep Apnea. The amount of deep sleep I got was on the lower spectrum of what they refer to as normal but I was attached to over three dozen wires and made to sleep on my back. They should be grateful I slept at all under those circumstances, otherwise mine could have been the shortest sleep study in their history.
The fragmented sleep was something I was expecting. I have a brain that is extremely averse to shutting down. Falling asleep some nights is easier than others, but when I wake up at 4:00 am my brain immediately launches into hyper-drive and it is next to impossible to quell the rush of random thoughts. I am lucky if I can get back to sleep before my alarm sounds at 6:30 am.
The doctor at the sleep clinic gave me a prescription for a sleeping pill that I will happily decline to take. As soon as he said the word ‘addictive’, he solidified my objection to taking the pills in the first place. Some of my best ideas for stories, or for my books, come in those wee hours of fragmented sleep and I would hate to still the rushing waters of creativity.
For now, I will be focused on more exercise, perhaps some meditation and whatever else I can do to still my brain so I can get a better quality of sleep. Worst case scenario, book number two will be written before the anticipated deadline and I will have larger bags under my eyes!
Check out the free APP called ‘Insight Timer’ for meditation. And on Instagram they post a daily quote with a beautiful photo that somehow seems relative to whatever is happening in your life.
Good for you for passing up on the sleeping pill, Susan. Doctors can be quick to give you a prescription and send you on your way before exploring other avenues. I think exercise and meditation are great alternatives.
Your sleep pattern sounds similar to mine. I’ve had a lot of 4 am readathons due to inability to fall back asleep.
Good for you declining the sleeping pill!! Google 1 hour Meditation Music…I have found several wonderful sleep aids on this; I keep my tablet beside my bed and when I start doing my 3:30 a.m. to do lists, I click on one of these, and it helps to quiet my mind…and usually I am able to at least rest before the alarms sounds!