as a normal day. I’d been a sleep tech for more than a year and some of
the excitement of being in a new field wore off and it became a real job.
mystery of the smell with the sleep apnea patients was still a mystery.
I began my own research and hoped to find a connection. I tried to correlate
the intensity of the smell with the average oxygen desaturation for each
patient. The first problem was how to quantify the smell, no equipment
would give me the numbers I’d need so using my nose and a scale from 1
to 10, I would give the smells a number. One was no smell and a 10 was
the strongest. Biggest problem with my smell scale was, since the odors
were coming from the body and the breath, it would vary from patient to
patient. Some patients had a strong body odor with little breath smell,
some the opposite, and some both. I found a correlation between changes
in oxygen saturation and the smell but was not ready to publish anything.
I focused on blood gas changes as the prime cause. My hypothesis was the
chemical balance of the fluids in the body changed and resulted in a distinct
breath and body order. I tried to get others involved but no one seemed
to care too much about the smell so I was on my own. I will come back
to this later.
my first year other sleep techs came and went. The average amount of time
for a sleep technologist to stay at the clinic was 6 months. They decided
either they didn’t want to stay up all night or they left for a sleep
lab that paid better money. My pay started at $4 an hour and after a year
jumped all the way up to $5 with medical benefits. This was just enough
to rent a room in a two-story house in the San Francisco Bay area. I had
no kitchen privileges but had a private bathroom. My bedroom was large
enough to do a little yoga when I woke up each day around 2pm. I found
that after doing some yoga stretching exercises for about 45 minutes,
it would relieve the soreness & headache I always had upon rising due
to the time of day, quality of sleep, and a very soft bed.
lab staffed three sleep techs and it had become my job to train the new
technologist. I trained a few techs who continued on in the field and
I tried training many that didn't make it through the two-week trial period.
There wasn’t a rush of people wanting to be sleep technologist.
scoring a lot of sleep recordings during my off hours. The lab constantly
got behind on scoring the patient recordings due to the number of patients
and the lack of technologist. They started a program where I was paid
$15 dollars for every recording I scored and it didn't matter how long
it took. I began scoring right away. I was able to score a record in about
an hour and a half, so I made more scoring than I did by the hour in the
lab. I started honing in on some techniques to speed up my scoring including
a method of turning pages at a rate of 100 per minute, which meant if
they didn't change sleep stages all night I would be done in 10 minutes.
Not much luck with that one, very few patients could sleep without many
changes in sleep stage, but I was able to speed up the process. I continued
to score and noticed some patients, especially narcoleptics, only took
30 minutes to score, so scoring became my second life. I averaged $25
an hour scoring and since the lab was always behind in scoring I could
score as many as I wanted.
on to the one room accommodation to save a little money. I was not getting
rich but I was able to travel back to Georgia to visit family once or
twice a year.
said in the beginning of this chapter, it began as normal day and I was
taking care of MSLT's. Arriving at my usual time, I had to rush around
and get everyone ready for the first nap. There was not much time to talk.
I quickly removed the electrodes not used for naps and added the extra
eye electrodes to help look for rapid eye movement. After getting the
first two patients ready I walked down the hall to the next room. I noticed
one of our patients coming down the hall from the other direction toward
me. He was easy to spot with all the electrodes still on his face. I figured
he must have been for a short walk or perhaps to get something to eat.
He was a tall thin black man with short hair, round face and eyes that
were spread far apart, in fact, I had never seen eyes that spread as far
apart as his before. With time running out, I rushed through the final
preparations with everyone. The only thing I found out about Wide Eyes
was he came from Oklahoma and was a doctor.
first nap went as planned. There were no problems with the equipment.
This was 1980 and Sandfort still saw the classic severe narcoleptic patients
from around the world. Two of the three patients went into REM sleep in
less than 15 minutes including Wide Eyes. As soon as the first nap was
over, I went in and unhooked each patient and asked the standard questions
that were posted on the wall.
1) “Did you sleep?”
(Yes or No response required.)
2) “How long did it take you to fall asleep?” (I only asked this if
they said they slept.)
3) “Do you remember any dreams?” (I always asked this one even if they
said they didn't sleep. Often they would say: “Well you know I didn't
think I slept but I do remember a dream so I must have fallen asleep”.)
I recorded all of the information on their chart hanging on the wall
next to their bed.
4) They wrote down the dream, if they had one, on another piece of paper,
which we kept with their records.
the questions I talked to them about the importance of staying awake between
naps, avoiding caffeine, including drinks like Mountain Dew, and not smoking
20 minutes before naps, etc. Since this group seemed to be more alert
than most, I wasn't too concerned with them dozing off between naps and
decided I would just check on them from time to time while I read. Well,
that was the plan.
unhooking and briefing all three patients I went back into my lab, set
up the equipment for the next nap, and began reading the last book written
by GI Gurdjieff, Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson. I really enjoyed
being able to read while working. I had a lot of time to read during the
night and between naps during the day. This was an interesting book and
while reading, Wide Eyes walked into the lab, my back was turned towards
him, but I sensed him gliding across the room and felt him looking over
he exclaimed. “Very good reading, read him years ago, even joined one
of his clubs and practiced whirling with the Dervishes."
expecting him or his comment, I was somewhat startled by the sound of
his voice and quickly asked, "You like reading Gurdjieff?"
yes, he is a very good read,” he responded. “I have read his books and
learned a lot but have moved on to much better readings."
been looking for new books to read,” I said. I mentioned some of the books
I had been reading including books by PD Ouspensky and Carlos Castanada,
and asked him if he knew some good books related to their topics. To my
amazement he began telling me about his library of books in his home.
He described a hidden library with many book titles and authors I had
never heard of, but they all seemed very interesting.
curious why you need to be studied here to see if you have narcolepsy,”
I said. “I would expect that one of the other doctors at your hospital
could make the diagnosis".
hospital wants me to work different shifts.” Wide eyes responded. “ It
is nearly impossible for me, but since they don't believe I have narcolepsy
they sent me here to get the official diagnosis."
you came to the right place.” I said with pride. “We have people coming
in from all over the world to be diagnosed for sleep disorders and we
have the best reputation in the field for the diagnosis and treatment
of narcolepsy. I am curious, how long do you feel like you have had narcolepsy?"
having symptoms as a young child,” he responded. “I had lots of trouble
during college and have been taking Ritalin to help me stay awake for
many years now”.
"How were you able to make it through medical school with narcolepsy?”
I asked, “It must have been a nightmare”.
made it through school using a special technique of self-hypnosis which
a professor taught me as an undergraduate,” Wide Eyes responded. “He was
one of the best hypnotist I have ever known. I remember once he had the
entire class under within a few minutes without any of them knowing. We
became close friends and he taught me a special form of self-hypnosis.
Under it you can remember anything you have heard or read which meant
I didn't have to stay up all night studying, it would also work for remembering
where you left your keys”.
you hypnotize other people?” I asked curiously. “Could you hypnotize me?”
“Yes I can and if you like, I can give you a short example between naps,”
“Do you think you could teach me self hypnosis, my memory isn't the best
in the world now days?” I asked.
"Maybe under hypnosis I can teach you self-hypnosis but we should do a
test run first," he replied.
"Great, I have never been hypnotized," I responded.
"It should not be difficult, you just have to allow it to happen," he
said with confidence. "If it can be done in less than an hour then lets
do it between one of the naps today, if that is OK with you?" I asked.
"No problem,” he replied. “We should be able to do it in thirty minutes.”
the clock. "Time to start getting ready for the next nap,” I said. “We
will have to continue this later".
"By the way, what is your name?" Wide Eyes asked.
"They call me ‘Sandman’ around here." I replied.
"Sandman you say, it fits you, I could have guessed it,” Wide eyes responded.
“My name is Doctor Morphidonalus, everyone calls me Doctor Morph,” and
with that he left for his room.
wondered, “Is this guy for real or what?” I decided to find out as much
as I could about him. I checked his chart and noticed no history of any
mental disorders. In fact it looked to be very normal. But he was diagnosed
with narcolepsy many years back and I had heard hundreds of amazing stories
from many narcoleptics. Could this be just another story? I had about
an hour and a half between naps to work with him, enough time to get to
know him better and hopefully make a decision about his authenticity.
the naps as soon as possible. All three patients went to sleep quickly.
One of the other patients and Wide Eyes had REM sleep onset periods during
the nap. That made it two REM onsets after the first two naps for wide
eyes. This was an indication that he may have narcolepsy, but REM later
on in the day would be a better indicator. I was eager to continue my
conversation with him after the nap.
a quick decision to try the hypnosis that afternoon, after the nap following
lunch. I needed to run some errands so I wouldn’t see Wide Eyes again
until the third nap.
third nap was almost a repeat of the first two for wide eyes, sleep within
a minute and REM shortly after. About 5 minutes into the nap the phone
rang. I made a dive for the phone, didn’t want the ring to wake patients.
sleep lab, can I help you?” I asked quietly.
“Hi Sandman, how is it going today?” It was Sheila, the chief technologist.
“Great, but I was a little late starting this nap,” I replied. “I’m, in
the middle of it right now so can I call you back?”
“Sure no hurry,” she said.
“Ok bye,” I responded as quietly as possible.
the recording to see if any of the patients were aroused from the ring
and none seemed bothered by it. I noticed, during the conversation with
Sheila, Wide Eyes went into REM sleep.
was still in charge of the lab. She started just before I did but had
been in the field for a couple years. I found her to be a very special
person and a great woman to work for. She always stood up for us techs
when needed, she worked days and I usually worked nights and since we
were in different buildings we rarely saw each other.
end of the nap I went in to wake up Wide Eyes. I noticed his eyes were
twitching rapidly. “Oh Doc it’s time to get up,” I said. Wide Eyes didn’t
reply. “Doctor Morph the nap is over,” I repeated, this time much louder.
Wide Eyes didn’t move so I gently shook him for a few seconds before his
eyes popped open and he looked at me.
you sleep?” I asked. In the previous naps, he had responded ‘yes’.
“No I don’t think so,” he said.
“Really?” I asked. “Did you have a dream?”
“Not that I can recall,” he responded.
“Are you sure?” I asked. “Pretty sure,” he responded. “I’m positive I
could hear everything happening the entire time. I heard nurses pushing
carts up and down the hall and talking. I even heard your phone ring and
“What did I say on the phone?” I asked in amazement.
“You told the person you were late starting the nap and if you could call
back later,” he said.
“That’s funny!” I replied. “I’m sure I checked your recording while I
was talking on the phone and you were in REM sleep”.
it’s coming back to me,” he said. “I didn’t just hear, I actually saw
the nurses walking up and down the hall and I was in the room with you
when the phone rang. My conscious must have been in my etheric body and
it must have gone for a stroll while I slept”.
body?” I asked with wonder. “I don’t think I’ve heard of that one before.”
“Well it’s the closest non-physical body to your physical self,” he replied.
“It looks exactly as you do and moves the way you do, usually while you
are asleep. I’ll recommend a good book for you if you want some details
“That would be great,” I responded with curiosity.
you ready for the hypnosis experiment?” he asked.
“Sure am,” I answered.
Doctor Morph and I walked back to the sleep lab. “OK!” he said, “pick
a comfortable chair and have a seat”.
“Before we start Doc, will I be able to remember what happens?” I asked.
“Yes!” he responded, “I’m gong to give you the command to remember everything
that is said and what happens, so you will have total recall”.
“OK,” I said, “I’m ready.” I sat back slowly in my chair. When he began
to speak his voice changed to a very deep and monotonous sound.
up and pick a spot on the ceiling, any spot, and start staring at it,”
he said slowly. “Keep staring and try not to blink your eyes as much as
possible, just continue staring……… Become aware of your breathing……Your
body is beginning to relax; your legs are becoming very relaxed….. Now
your arms are feeling very relaxed. The relaxation is spreading throughout
your body. You are totally relaxed. Your eyes are starting to become a
little tired but continue staring at the spot……. Now, your eyes are becoming
more and more tired, soon you won’t be able to keep them open and they
will close on their own………”.
couple of minutes my eyes closed.
are now totally relaxed,” he continued. “You will be fully conscious and
remember everything I say and what happens. First picture yourself floating
on a cloud. You are weightless and drifting slowly in the sky. Gradually
the cloud will drift down to the earth. When the cloud touches land nod
that I was on a cloud. I could look around and saw a beach with a desert
like mountain behind it, a calm ocean and lots of white sand. After a
few minutes the cloud landed on the beach and I nodded. I felt totally
conscious and not sure if I was hypnotized or just visualizing what I
wanted to see with my imagination.
open your eyes now,” he said smoothly. “Remain lying on the cloud still
weightless and totally relaxed…… Your right arm is starting to become
lighter than air……….. soon it will begin to float up……”
later, through no will of my own, I felt my arm floating up about two
feet above the arm rest. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my arm moving
and the feeling weightless overwhelmed me. I knew I wasn’t just imagining
this, my arm was actually floating without any effort on my part.
your arm will float back down to the original position and your eyes will
close again,” he continued.
as he ended his last word my arm started floating back down, again without
any will of my own. I had never felt anything like it. Then my eyes closed.
how your body feels now,” he said. “Whenever you want to relax just repeat
the process. Relaxation will come to you as soon as the cloud touches
the earth. When I snap my finger, you will wake up. You will feel great
and you will remember everything”.
his fingers snap.
opened and the first thing I noticed was how relaxed I felt.
do you feel?” he asked.
"I can't remember when I've felt so relaxed," I responded. Yes, it was
true, never had I felt the calmness & peace that enveloped my entire body.
“Do you remember everything that happened?” he asked.
“Yes everything,” I answered, or at least I thought I had.
“I was surprised how easy you went under, it usually takes much longer,”
up at the clock.
no, I am late again,” I exclaimed. “I can’t believe I’ve been sitting
here this long.”
moving quickly, going from room to room, checking electrodes, and preparing
everyone for the next nap. I had everyone in bed and the nap started about
ten minutes late.
time only Wide Eyes went into REM sleep. Four REM onsets out of four naps
was not a common occurrence. I left the lab and went from room to room
to finalize the nap. Doctor Morph strolled into the sleep lab just as
I finished up with the equipment. He carried a pen and a piece of paper.
going to give you a list of books I think will help you understand about
our other bodies,” he said. “There are five bodies you should learn about”.
I said, “I would like to learn what is going on here, particularly the
etheric body you mentioned after the third nap. I have read many books
about astral bodies and astral travel, many books by Lobsang Rampa who
told some great stories about out of the body astral traveling, but I
haven’t heard of the Etheric Body”.
etheric body is sometimes called the etheric double,” he replied. “If
you have a dream and you can see yourself and you move by walking, you
are in your etheric body. Nowadays I do a lot of work in the astral plane.
In fact I train astral bodies using mine while I am sleeping”.
do you mean by training astral bodies?” I asked.
they’re those who don’t know how to fly, so I will take them up in the
air and show them how to fly back to earth,” he replied slowly. “I take
them one step at a time until they can manage on their own. You need to
learn more about our other bodies. The best, but most difficult to read
books, are by a lady named Blavatsky, especially her Secret Doctrine
which contains many volumes. It could take a lifetime to read and understand.
A lady named Besant has many volumes, some equally as difficult but right
on target. I think that you should begin with a couple books by an author
named Powell who doesn’t actually write books from his own thoughts, but
he takes bits and pieces of information from a huge collection of theosophical
books, including the ones I’ve mentioned, and puts the information in
easy to understand modern language. First, start with the Etheric Double,
then Astral Body, next The Mental Body, and then Causal
Body and the Ego. I think you will find those books fascinating. After
reading those you can try books like At the Feet of the Master,
The Art and Practice of Astral Projection,…….”.
list went on and on, I was writing as fast as I could, I checked the spelling
on some of the names. The list continued to grow and grow.
is a lot of books,” I said. “I wish I didn’t read so slow. I like reading
but it takes me a long time to read a book”.
“I had a problem reading slow too,” he replied, “I had to learn a speed
reading technique to help me out”.
“Which one, Evelyn Woods?” I asked.
no!” he exclaimed. “The teacher who taught me self-hypnosis showed me
a technique. It’s very simple. First you read the book up side down and
from the back to the front, not actually trying to read each word but
just looking at each page focusing in the middle of the page. Just look
at the page and turn to the next. Once you’ve gone through the book from
back to front, you begin right side up, this time from the beginning to
the end. Just look at the page long enough for your eyes to take a picture
snap shot and then go to the next. You will be turning pages about as
fast as you can turn them once you get the hang of it. You will need to
go though the book several times in both directions before you will be
able to not only understand what it was about, but you will be able to
remember every thing in the book. It took a lot of practice but it works
I’ve never heard of this before,” I replied. “It sounds a little difficult
it works with easy reading books like novels much better than technical
books like the ones in medical school,” he responded. “With most of them,
I had to use the slow, word-to-word method and it worked well with my
give it a try,” I said.
“Start with an easy book and work yourself up,” he replied.
at the clock and noticed it was time to get things ready for the last
long are you going to be in town?” I asked.
“I fly back in 2 days,” he replied, “I’m staying near here at the Holiday
“Well I know you will be needing some real sleep after all you have been
through today,” I said. “How about getting together tomorrow. I’d really
like to talk to you more about these things”.
“I’d like that,” he said, “I have an appointment at the Sleep Clinic tomorrow
at 11:00am. I should be through with it by 12:30, come by the hotel around
good to me,” I said. “That will give us time to check out a special bookstore
I know that sells the books you are talking about”.
would be wonderful!” he replied. “Finding a really good bookstore in Oklahoma
is hard to do. I would love to see a good esoteric California bookstore.
I usually order all my books. I want to be the first person to touch and
read it. I’ve learned that the first time a book is read the author’s
true meaning comes out, but after someone has read it some of his meaning
is lost. I can also teach you self-hypnosis while you are under tomorrow
if you like”.
really like to learn how,” I said.
also try to let you experience astral travel while you are under if you
feel up to it,” Wide Eyes offered.
good to me,” I replied, “OK Doctor Morph, lets get this last nap over
so we can get out of here”.
“I’m ready Sandman,” he replied, “lets rock.”
went smoothly for the last nap. Everyone slept and again Wide Eyes had
REM sleep. Five out of five, this was very rare indeed and a strong finding
for the diagnosis of narcolepsy.
the last nap and after taking care of all the equipment, I felt the need
to go down to my favorite pub, the Oasis. The events of the day had given
me mass quantities of energy and my head was spinning with ideas and questions.
Was Doctor Morph for real? Could he be talking about some hallucinations
he may have had and believed? For some reason I felt he was more real
than most people I knew. Would he become my mentor? The questions kept
running around in my head. What would it be like tomorrow? Would I be
it to the pub and played pinball to wind down. After a few games, some
food, and a beer I wandered to my room on the second floor a few blocks
away. That night I had many strange dreams but woke up feeling refreshed
and ready for the day. At least I thought I was ready.
Go to Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter
4, Chapter 5
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