How well do you sleep?

This post is reposted by permission from me. 🙂 I wrote the original on my group blog, Writing Wranglers and Warriors.

This is a serious question. Sleep apnea can cause a lot of health problems. Sleep problems aren’t something that should be taken lightly though people who don’t get enough sleep tend to brag about how little sleep they need to function. Ever heard anyone do that? “Oh I can get by on four hours a night.” They say it like it’s a great thing. But really they’re just getting by on that. Lack of sleep is their new normal. They would feel better if they got more sleep. How much more productive could they be if they actually got enough sleep?

Gained weight recently and don’t know why? Can’t lose weight even though you’re watching what you eat? Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep. Because not getting enough sleep puts your body in stress mode. In stress mode the body stores fat. This could be why I haven’t been able to lose weight. I don’t eat a lot more than other people. Since I’m a quality assurance engineer for the day job I think this calls for a test. Change nothing in the way food intake or exercise but get at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night. See if I lose any weight.

But maybe me going to bed too late and getting up too early aren’t the only reasons I’m not getting enough sleep.  I went for a sleep study to find out if I have sleep apnea because I made my fiancĂ© get one done. Turns out I was right. He does have it. Now he’s on a CPAP machine.

You should have the sleep study done if you suspect you have sleep apnea. I’m going to give you some tough love here. SLEEP APNEA KILLS. You stop breathing while you sleep. Most times your body wakes itself up and then you just go back to sleep. Sometimes your body doesn’t wake itself up and YOU DIE. Yes, it is a hot button with me because I know people who suspect they have sleep apnea but haven’t gone for the study. They have children. One is a single mother. If she doesn’t care about herself she should at least care enough for her son.  I have another friend who won’t go for one because she says she wouldn’t want to use the CPAP machine. So to me that says she’d rather risk death. Totally up to her but so ridiculous. Not to mention the danger you are on the road if you have sleep apnea and don’t get treatment.

My sleep doctor does lots of tests before the study. I had to go for blood tests – regular blood test and a blood gas test. The blood gas is to determine how my oxygen saturation is in my blood. People with sleep apnea can have low blood oxygen. With sleep apnea your brain is starved for oxygen. This can cause all sorts of other problems including high blood pressure.

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea: From http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/apnea-apnee/signs-signes/index_e.php

Snoring
Depression
Sleepy during the day and don’t know why
Morning headaches
Can’t concentrate
Irritable
High blood pressure

Don’t have sleep apnea but still aren’t sleeping well?

Tips on getting a better sleep:

Sleep in a cool room.

No lights – so that’s TV lights, lights from gadgets etc. (I put my iPhone face down so if it does buzz with a notification the room isn’t suddenly bathed in light.)

Go to bed at the same time (even on the weekends) and get up at the same time.

Cut out caffeinated beverages after noon.

Do something soothing before bed. So as much as I would love for you to read my horror short story – don’t do it right before bed. 🙂

That also goes for watching television or a movie. Don’t watch something frightening before bed. Stick to feel good dramas or comedies.

I had been doing some of these. When I watch a horror movie I make sure I watch a comedy movie afterwards. Or I watch two comedy shows. To get the horror stuff out of my head.

So, what should you take away from all this? Sleep is important. But the body doesn’t just need sleep. It needs good, uninterrupted sleep. If you have symptoms, talk to your doctor and go for a sleep study.

Until next time…

 

Cindy

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One thought on “How well do you sleep?

  1. Sheila Lowe

    Thanks for covering this important topic, Cindy. As someone with severe sleep apnea (avg of 50 apnea events/hour over several sleep studies), I’m always looking for new info. Unfortunately, while there is help for obstructive apnea, I haven’t heard anything for central apnea (I’m so lucky, I have both :lol:), in which the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe.
    One thing I’ve found a tremendous help is theanine when added to melatonin (Melatonin Plus is the one I use). I’m dreaming again after not dreaming for eons because I would rarely get REM sleep.

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