Sleep Study song
This doctor is fabulous and I had to share it with you
We turn more and more to medications to solve our health problems. Although they usually can correct symptoms they do not necessarily correct the problem that is causing the problem. Many problems can be made worse by sleep deprivation and some may look like one health issue and actually be an sign of a sleep problem.
Is it depression or a sleep issue?
Many people who have a sleep issues have the same symptoms of depression. If you are tired all the time this could be due to sleep apnea or sleep deprivation as much as depression. If you wake in the morning with a headache or feeling like your thinking is blurry this is a common sign for sleep apnea. You probably spent the night with your oxygen levels going up and down, this keeps the brain from getting the oxygen and blood it needs throughout the night.
Your memory needs rest to work.
Many people whether you are a student getting ready for a test or a person who thinks that if they work just a few more hours they will get ahead are actually causing issues with their memory. When we sleep we go into certain stages of sleep. We start the beginning of the night going into slow wave sleep, this allows our body to heal and grow by releasing several hormones including human growth hormone. Later in the night we go through cycles of sleep and REM sleep. REM sleep is where we dream and is also where we take information and move it from short term memory to long term memory. If you disrupt this cycle you may miss the refreshment of your body and your mind.
High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and other conditions aggravated by Sleep Apnea
Try holding your breath. You will feel your heart start to pound and feel pressure building in your chest. Now imagine doing that all night long. Some people may only do this during certain positions or during certain stages of sleep. Other people do this all night long and get worse as the night goes on. The heart is stressed and has to work harder every time you hold your breath. Each time you are unable to breathe you cause stress. This stress releases cortisol which causes you to stress. This contributes to increases in your blood pressure and blood sugar.
Keep a diary see if your sleep is affecting your health.
We really do not think about how much or how well we sleep. Keeping a sleep diary will help you to determine if your sleep habits or your sleep quality is contributing to your problems. You should keep it for at least two weeks. During this time you should document the time you go to bed, how long you think it took you to go to sleep, the time you wake up and how long until you get out of bed. You should also document any time you get out of bed during the night and for how long. I would also keep track of how much caffeine you had consumed during the day, if you took a nap and for how long and any unusual exertive activities you may have done.
In the end it is as much up to you as it is up to your doctor to figure out what is causing your health problems. There are times when you can find that the solutions to your problem may not need a medication as much as it is small changes in your lifestyle or maybe be evaluated for a sleep disorder.
We all live in a stressful world. We have work, family, unexpected issues and the last thing we think about is how it will affect us as we are lying in bed staring at the ceiling. We do not think about what we can do to help solve the problem or prevent it. Let’s take a few minutes to find a solution for you.
Oxygen is one of the great ways to reduce stress. It is easily available and easy to get. Take five minutes to breathe deeply and recruit more of your lung to help transfer the oxygen to your blood. There are many routines you can use to help you to relax. I like the inhale, hold, exhale practice. Inhale through your nose for the count of six, hold for the count of 4 (you do not want to stress yourself), than exhale slowly through pursed lips for the count of six. As you are inhaling imagine your lungs filling from the bottom out and when you are exhaling imagine them emptying from the top down. Not only do you get benefit of increased oxygen level but the focus on breathing will help you to calm your mind.
Practice a little yoga. A simple routine can help you stretch your body, help you focus on your breathing and the health benefits will amaze you. A simple routine is all you need and you do not have to worry about being perfect. It is more about getting you ready to sleep. I use Yoga.about.com for a website to choose my workout. She has excellent routines you can follow. Just remember you can modify the move for you. When I first started I could not reach lower than my knees. Now I can touch the floor most days. Choose an easy one like a Sun Salutation to help you to get ready for bed. This is to help you focus and deep breathe and calm your mind.
Turn off the electronics. The television, cell phone and other electronics are designed to stimulate you and your mind. It is really hard to get ready to sleep when you are stimulated by light and information. Try turning down the lights and journaling. Not only will it eliminate the electronic stimulation but it will help you to put your ideas on paper so you can deal with them in the morning and turn them off at night. It might also allow you to find solutions to what is bothering you and allow you to relax and fall asleep.
Get out of bed. If you are lying there staring at the ceiling lying in bed will frustrate you and keep you awake longer. Get out of bed and read or do something for 20-40 minutes than go back to bed. Take that time to relax and unwind. Use one of the ideas above to help you. Bed should be for sleeping and other activities should be done outside of bed. So get up and relax than go back to bed when you are feeling more relaxed.
Learning how to relax when you are having an occasional bout of insomnia is an important habit for you to learn. These techniques can be used during the day to help you to relieve your stress, as part of your bedtime routine or as a solution to the occasional night of stress induced insomnia.
Spring has bloomed and with it the pollen levels have reached some of the highest levels of the year. For many people this is the time of year where breathing and snoring are at their worst. The minute you lie down you feel pressure on your forehead and your nose clogs up. If you snore it is loud and more disruptive than usual. If you use a CPAP this is the time of year when you are most likely to give up using it.
Finding solutions to these problems can be challenging. You know you want to feel good and rest is an important part of that but you are not sure what you can do to help yourself. There are a few things you can do that will help you.