I arranged to take a sleep test. I didn't fancy the idea of connecting myself to a machine every night and the surgery seemed extreme, but I loved Zoe and it felt like our relationship was at stake. A few weeks later, I was sitting in a chair at a local hospital in my boxers and t-shirt while a stranger attached 28 electrodes to my head and legs. After seven fitful hours—a gauntlet more grueling than any single night with Zoe—I was awoken and told to go home. The results arrived two weeks later. Both Zoe and I had been playing it cool up until then, but we both knew it was a seminal moment. We’d already decided to hold off on shacking up—a move driven mostly by my fear of losing the precious few nights each week when I slept better alone. "What if I have to sleep with a machine—or have surgery?" I asked over breakfast the morning before I saw my doctor. "You're not going to have to do either," she smiled, then changed the subject.Gadgets Forcing Couples To Separate Beds
The doctor informed me that I had sleep apnea but my oxygen-intake level was above 90%, which meant it was very minor. However, my "sleep efficiency"—the amount of time I actually slept during the test—was 55%, a decidedly poor number. Also, I was in Stage II sleep through most of the test (Stage IV is R.E.M., the proverbial "deep sleep" needed for rejuvenation). This, along with a host of other minor stats, confirmed what I already knew: I was a light—and lousy—sleeper. The good news was neither machine nor surgery would help much. The bad news was much like the limbo of a poor night's sleep, I didn’t have a problem significant enough to warrant anything more than an oral device to help with my snoring, an option my doctor glossed over before ushering me out of his office. Which left me precisely where I started, only more informed (and neurotic).