Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Blatherings: Sleep

While work is winding down, with the end of the school year just a few weeks away, I have had a fun little journey with sleep during my down time.  I've been pretty tired over the last four or five years, and in fact reviewed a book on sleep back in 2009, "52 Brilliant Ideas: Sleep Deep".  I'd gone in to my doctor before to complain of fatigue, but somehow thought it might just be stress.  Besides, aren't we all just a bit stressed out most of the time?!?

So, how did we figure out what was up?   It was in a bit of a roundabout way.  You might actually remember a blog post I did for Christmas "Christmas 2010: Mele Kalikimaka" where I talked about going for a hike up to this lighthouse.  What I didn't share was a scary moment of chest pain that accompanied that hike.  Now, I'm no wilting flower or wafer-thin girl, but I've never had heart issues, nor had any family members who ever had heart disease.  In fact, heart disease is really not an issue in my family at all, so it had me concerned.  Besides, it's not as if I don't exercise, even if I am a bit irregular with my schedule during the school  year.

I decided to bring it up to my doctor when I got home, which led to a diagnosis of asthma (much to my relief, strangely enough), but which also led to several tests that showed that I have sleep apnea.  Gah!  No, I was not thrilled about this upset in my world.  My dad had sleep apnea, and all I could think about was that noisy machine I could hear from my room and the scary mask he had to wear!  My dad was a big snorer, but I NEVER snore, so the whole thing had me annoyed.  Once I settled down and had my doctor explain all the ways I would feel better if I treated it, including a lengthy discussion about how many people go undiagnosed, I started to calm down.  I had already endured that first hellish night of non-sleep a month ago, cords running out of my head and body in every which direction that made me feel like the biggest science experiment ever, but Friday night was the test with the actual CPAP machine.  Amazingly, it went really well.  It wasn't that bad.  I'm still not thrilled to have sleep apnea, but I am eager to find out what happens after I start getting treatment.  From what I hear, everyone raves about how great they feel and how much energy they have.  Won't that be nice?

Here's a funny clip about sleep apnea that was on The View several years ago when Rosie O'Donnell was still a co host, where she shares her issues with sleep apnea.  Yes, watch and envy the sexy mask...

I know there are a lot of books out there on sleep, and I've read a few.  Who doesn't love sleep?  We could always seem to use more, or at least more restful sleep!  Although it's received mixed reviews from folks who would prefer something more clinical, I actually really liked the wide variety of advice in Sleep to be Sexy, Smart, and Slim by Ellen Michaud and Julie Bain.  The wide variety of sleep issues they address, with quick, easy to approach information, is really nice.

They break the book up into basic sections: how to tell if you have a sleep problem, ways to get a good night's rest, and all the "sleep saboteurs" out there.  Some of the saboteurs include stress, depression, hormones, biological changes, pregnancy (during and after), illnesses like allergies, grief, sleep disorders, nightmares, and jet lag.  I found it all pretty interesting and could relate to many different saboteurs that had me thinking about ways to make my sleep time more productive.  Besides, who doesn't want to be sexy, smart, and slim? 

This book has easy to flip through pages, with highlighted titles and lists of suggestions.  Sure, it doesn't go into deep, technical details, but the information is really good and covers a lot of different sleep issues.  If you're at all struggling to get a good night's rest, I would recommend that you check this book out.  Even if you don't struggle with sleep, but just struggle to have enough time for it, I think it has great information about making the most out of the sleep you get.

Anyone else struggle with sleep issues?


  1. Oh Becky - I do not have sleep apnea but I am quite certain my husband does (even though the sleep test proved otherwise). And...if you share a bed with someone who snores you don't get much sleep either :)

    We inherited a CPAP machine from my mom, however, and it is not that loud and has helped so much with the snoring. I hope that this proves to be the answer to your sleep problems and you begin to feel better soon!

  2. My husband and I both have sleep issues, including sleep apnea. It's horrible. I can't remember the last time I felt like I got a good night's sleep.

  3. That's pretty scary! At least you know what's wrong so you can treat it now, right?

    I don't really have sleep issues, except for the fact that I'm a night owl, so if I have to get up early it's not pretty. And by early I mean before 10 AM. :P

  4. Molly--I can't imagine sleeping with someone who snores or stops breathing. It has to wreak havoc on your sleep! I hate knowing I have it, but I'm glad there's a way of resolving it. :)

    Holly--That's tough! I hope you can resolve some of your sleep issues too. I'm excited to get on the CPAP so sleep will be more restful!

    Heidenkind--Yes, too true. I didn't even know I had it. It's all good though. Now I have to resolve the night owl syndrome too! I love staying up late, but have a crazy job that wants me up super early! Enjoy the night owl lifestyle while you can! :)