Of sleep, that is. I spent this past weekend lounging with my nose in Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, and catching up on an out-of-control sleep debt I had heard the interview with the author, David K. Randall, on NPR and became intrigued with his challenge. He had written the book in part to address his own sleep disturbances.
As I read, I reflected on my own tenuous relationship with sleep. It had always seemed like something to be endured and to get out of the way. Late party nights, graduate school, early morning meetings at work—as Randall says “sleep continues to be forgotten, overlooked, and postponed”. And that pretty much targets how I’ve felt about it.
After a dream about a crab scuttling about in my living room, and on the anniversary of my father’s death, George and I headed for Whidbey Island to be near the ocean.
One ferry ride and a short drive later, we arrived at Double Bluff Beach.
Here we were offered a wonderful ocean view and something truly unexpected. As the waves came in and then pulled out, they tried to take the rocks back, and in doing so, revealed a secret language.
Sensory Deprivation. I had heard this phrase several years ago when I pondered the exercise. The idea is you soak in a tank, with no light, seemingly no gravity (massive amounts of epsom salts that float you), no sound, and full privacy. I decided it was time to go for it. I made an appointment at Fremont’s Urban Float. Upon arrival, I was taken to an upstairs lounge with an electronic tablet in hand and watched an animated video on how to float. I was nervous. I’m a bit claustrophobic, and didn’t know who or what I would be with senses “deprived.”