Sleep

Why We Buy In to the Big Business of Sleep

In a small room without windows, I am instructed to breathe in sync with a colorful bar on a screen in front of me. Six counts in. Six counts out. Electrodes tie me to a machine whirring on the table. My hands and feet are bare, wiped clean and placed atop silver boards. My finger is pinched by an oximeter, my left arm squeezed by a blood-pressure cuff. Across from me, a woman with a high ponytail, scrublike attire and soft eyes smiles encouragingly. She is not a doctor, and this is not a lab. The air smells like lavender and another fruity scent I later learn is cassis. My chair is made of woven reeds, topped with a thick cushion and a pillow for lumbar support. The windowless room feels more cozy than claustrophobic; this is not torture but a luxury. I am, in fact, in a five-star resort

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