September 19, 2010

Let's Just Sleep On It

What's the big deal with sleep, anyway?  I mean, SURE we need it to LIVE and all, but how come our days seem to revolve around sleep?   Have you ever noticed that "I'm tired" seems to be one heck of a conversation starter?  I know I've used it myself.  Why?  Because we can all relate.  We are ALL tired.  The most tired ones are people with kids, jobs, LIVES...we're pretty much all exhausted most of the time!  (Except for the kids...if we could just find a way to bottle their energy...)

We constantly worry about getting enough sleep.  Some of us claim to 'thrive' on very little sleep.  In fact, I've seen those that pride themselves on that.  (Yes MOM...I'm talking about you!)  When my brother and I were kids, she did the majority of her housecleaning after we were all asleep.  I've tried that.  With the exception of the occasional extra burst of energy or an impending deadline, I will choose sleep over a clean house ANYDAY.  It's all about priorities, people!  In fact, so many of us go to bed and toss and turn and get all worked up about not being able to fall asleep.  They may even get out of bed and give up on sleep altogether, either jumping back on the computer or doing anything that keeps them from the tossing and the turning. 

Maybe I'm just different, but I've never really stressed about sleep all that much.  I guess I've had it easy.  I lie in bed, close my eyes, drift off, open my eyes, and it's morning.  Sometime, it's almost like I blinked!  Part of my mad sleeping skillz is that I don't worry about it.  If I NEVER fall asleep, at least I know my body and eyes are getting the rest that they need.  Once I've accepted that, morning comes so much more quickly.  Besides, how often can a mother of three just lay there and do nothing?  Don't answer that.

I've been using that little sleep app on my phone and I feel like I'm really learning something from it.  It tracks the phase of sleep you're in based on how much you move.  Then, it wakes you up to 30 minutes before the time you set on the alarm, depending on what sleep stage you are in.  It tries to wake you BEFORE you go back into a deep sleep.  Honestly, it's never been easier to wake up than it is since I got this app.  Best 99 cents I ever spent!  It also tells me that, during most of the night, I don't MOVE.  This is actually not too surprising as being a 'deep sleeper' sort of runs in my family.  My sleep charts don't look much like the ones that I see all over the webs.  They start out normal, then stay in the deep sleep phase for 4 or 5 hours most nights.  Now, this is only based on how much I move, so I could be in the regular sleep phases and just move less than other people. 

This just fascinates me, for some reason.  The subject of sleep actually peaks my interest instead of making me drowsy.  Whoodathunkit???

David, on the other hand, has not always been a great sleeper.  He would mostly toss and turn and end up getting up a lot during the night.  (At least, that's what he says...I'm usually lying at the bottom of the sleep chart when all of this is going on!)  He also snores a lot, often not breathing for several seconds at a time.  Once he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and started using a CPAP, things changed for him.  Now, it didn't happen right away.  It took weeks of discomfort and discipline to get used to the CPAP, but he's now conditioned to sleep with it on.  (He also needed motivation, which was the fact that our insurance company wouldn't cover it if he didn't use it at least four hours a night for a certain percentage of the time.  Money is a great motivator for that man!)  So, now that he's used to his little breathing contraption he sleeps so much better.  He's not up and down all night like he used to be.  (Once again, this is just from what he tells me...I sleep like I ROCK.)  What's funny now is how he acts when he doesn't use his CPAP.  He went two nights in a row without it a few weeks ago and he was a total zombie that whole weekend!  It's amazing how struggling to breathe can keep you from getting into the stages of sleep that you need to get to.  The quality of his life has actually improved which, in turn, makes living with him a lot easier! 

So, what's keeping you from getting a good night's sleep? 

Here's the link to a great website I found on the subject if you want to know more. 


1 comment:

Eric Rata said...

I didn't realize David had sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with it a few years ago. My CPAP really helps me. I wake up gasping for air when I don't wear it. No fun at all.