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