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I'll Get Enough Sleep When I'm Dead

Which, according to my doctor, might not have been that far away.

If you'll remember, I finally got around to having that sleep study completed last month for my suspected sleep apnea. Yesterday afternoon, I got to meet with my doctor and go over the results.

He showed me my chart, and explained to me that a normal person will have two or three interruptions to their sleep per hour. Fifteen to twenty interruptions is considered sleep apnea. Thirty interruptions per hour is considered severe.

My doctor then pointed to my chart. I have over one hundred interruptions to my sleep cycle per hour. I never reach the deeper regions of sleep, spending the entire night in REM sleep or one stage below. My doctor looked me in the eye and said, "I'm surprised you're still walking around."

This has been going on for over seven years. Tomorrow night, I'm going back into the hospital to be fitted for a cpap machine.

The good news? The effects on my health of not getting restful sleep for over seven years are ninety-five percent reversible.

And I wonder why I've been so damned tired all the time. The funny part of this--if you can consider any of this funny--is that the night of the sleep study I thought I slept better than I had in some time. I was concerned that I slept too well and that they'd determine that nothing was wrong with me. That adds a little perspective, doesn't it? One of my better nights of sleep produced over one hundred interruptions per hour.

Since I've been living with this, I've become published, been working a full-time job, getting up around four in the morning to write, and generally living my life while not getting the benefits of sleep.

I'm truly excited to see what it's like to sleep again where my oxygen levels aren't dipping down into the sixty percent of normal range. Gee, oxygen to my brain. That's got to be a good thing, huh?

One week without a smoke and counting.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of The Abyss.

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