Being watched while you sleep part two: the results

After a little mishap that involved the sleep clinic forgetting to send my doctor the results from my study, I finally got the information I’ve been waiting for since last week. The doctor did a great job of explaining everything and I found it really interesting to see how long I spent in the different stages of sleep. Even though it wasn’t severe enough to warrant the CPAP during my sleep study, they did find mild sleep apnea and were able to show me just how much it’s affecting my sleep (it’s a lot).

Perhaps the most interesting thing they found, that totally confirmed what I’ve always thought, is that (at least on the night of the study) because I didn’t get quality sleep throughout the night, I ended up in a deep sleep right before waking up, which explains why sometimes it’s SO HARD to wake up in the morning, even if I went to bed early the night before. Instead of making me get a CPAP (making me likely one of the youngest people to need a CPAP), they recommended starting with a device that I’ll wear in my mouth at night that will help keep my airway open. I’m feeling optimistic about having a plan of action, even if it does sound like it’s going to be an expensive plan of action. And they couldn’t get me in for my next appointment until December 4, but that’ll be here before I know it.

In addition, they strongly recommended that I make some lifestyle changes and stick to them for at least 30 days to gauge whether or not they are making any difference. I’ve decided to start these now since I won’t have the device for another month or so. These changes include:

  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday
  • Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
  • Cutting back on alcohol — going to attempt to cut out alcohol altogether for the next 30 days since I really don’t drink much anyways
  • Winding down before bed (I have a habit of working, watching Parks & Rec or being on Twitter right before I go to sleep)
  • Making sure to be well hydrated throughout the day and then limit fluids right before bed

Some changes that weren’t suggested but I’m going to make on my own include:

  • Cleaning up my diet and no sweets in the evening
  • This isn’t a change, but I’m going to continue to keep a notebook by my bed to write down any thoughts that are likely keeping me from falling asleep or falling back asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night
  • I’m going to attempt to make my sleep schedule incorporate a morning workout so I make sure to get in my 30 minutes (or more) of exercise everday
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4 thoughts on “Being watched while you sleep part two: the results

  1. Good luck with all of this Hyedi! I know heavy screen time right before bed for me means it takes longer to fall asleep and I seem to wake up earlier. I stop laptop, TV and phone time about 45 minutes before I go to bed, and I read in bed too.

    I think changing your diet will help tremendously as well: it could give you more energy so you don’t need to rely on caffeine so much. Water is a great energy booster too, believe it or not. I’m happy to help if you have questions 🙂

    Another thing you could do is change your lamp and bedroom light bulbs to lower wattage: artificial light intereferes with our body’s natural circadian rhythm, which is our body’s ability to recognise when it’s time to wind down and go to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up. Our caveman ancestors would’ve used the sun as their guide, but us 21st century people have too much stimluation from various light sources, like our devices. We have lower wattage light bulbs at home, and they help to wind our evening down tremendously.

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