Caroline Connolly Checks Out What a Good Nights Sleep Looks Like
Some of the most important hours in the day are when you finally get to bed.The average person needs about 8-hours of sleep a day, but most people get much less.Caroline Connolly recently visited a sleep lab to find out what’s preventing folks from getting the rest they need.Through the mind of a sleeping patient, I had a chance to see what happens when our body finally shuts down for the evening.I learned that even after your head hits the pillow, much of you is still wide awake.”I’m going to turn off the lights and if you need anything, just give a holler”It’s not quite like tucking yourself into bed at home, but for light sleepers, it can actually be even better. “It’s a very comfortable room, very comfortable. I don’t even notice the wires on me even though I probably should.”Equipped with your own t.v. and bathroom, the Sleep Center of Maine is meant to feel just like home. “If I had a blanket, I’d probably sleep the rest of the day.”Which is exactly what Roger Sedgwick needs.He started working at the center as a technician about a decade ago, but more recently became a patient.”I had headaches for two or three hours in the morning, every morning. It just was just kind of dragging, kind of slow getting started.”He enlisted the help of his co-workers to figure out what was happening while he was sleeping. While he dozed off, lab techs were wide awake. Watching and tracking his every breath.”See how you got real spikes and waves right there? Jagged waves. Here you don’t. He’s going to sleep”The 27 wires connected to Sedgwick can tell them what different parts of his brain and body are doing as he falls asleep.”Everything, everything. Even down to his legs.”A simple eye flutter or change in breathing can tell them which stage of sleeping your body is in.”N1, N2, N3, and REM.”That translates similarly to daydreaming, napping, heavy sleeping, and a dream state experts say is the best.”Your muscles aren’t moving, they’re turned off. So, you don’t run the mile, you don’t you know jump the fence, your mind is thinking you’re doing it, so you can see all that, your rate is going, but your body is not doing it.”"It sounds really good and it is.”Unfortunately, very few of us get to experience that on a regular basis. “Almost everyone, most of the time, is in N2 sleep.”Which means, like Sedgwick, we usually wake up tired because our brain is still processing what’s going on around us.Maybe even day dreaming about what a good night’s sleep would feel like.Roger Sedgwick was actually suffering from a sleep disorder, called sleep apnea.It interrupts a person’s breathing throughout the night, which can be dangerous if it goes untreated.The sleep center wants to remind people that daily exhaustion may be worth having checked out.