Last night, after months of delays, and in the aftermath of a snowpocalypse of historic proportions, I tried out a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP. Some of my best friends swore their praises and curses of the machine, which either sung them into a device-assisted date with sandman, or made them to claw at their faces and sleep unadorned.
I didn't claw. As uncomfortable as this looks, I had a much better night's sleep than the last time I was so nocturnally wired. Because this time I was masked. Thanks to this Darth Vader-like apparatus I breathed in not only positive air pressure but clean and more or less allergen-free air, with the added benefit of a humidifier. The sleep center had moved to a new facility just weeks before, and the mattress - which turned out to be simply a big cushion on top of the standard hospital-issue slab - was more comfortable by far than the hospital sleep lab. I did miss the Soylent Green-flavored relaxation videos piped into the hospital sleep lab, replaced this time with the Charlie Brown Christmas special and a news report on adopted children finding their birth parents. But the bedroom was decked with artwork that reminded me of the big sleep of Edward G. Robinson.
I woke wanting more sleep, but feeling like I actually slept.