Click above to watch my VLOG – Living with Sleep Disorders. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Our topic today is Living with Sleep Disorders. We’re going to talk about all the different sorts of disorders, including sleep apnea and sleep paralysis. According to the American Psychiatric Association, over 50 million Americans alone have sleep disorders.
We’re living with sleep disorders day in and day out. This could be anyone from our neighbor, friends, mom husband or wife. Sleep disorders are everywhere. This is something that we really need to look to and pay attention to. We need to nurture back to balance because sleep has such a profound impact on our wellness, health, and our quality of life.
There are many types of sleep disorders. They are grouped into different categories. Some of them have to do with your natural sleep wake cycles, while others have to do with breathing problems and how sleepy you feel during the day.
There is insomnia, where you have trouble falling asleep, or, you fall asleep easily, but wake up during the night and don’t go back to sleep. There’s something called parasomnias, and this is a type of an abnormal event or experience during sleep. This is similar to having nightmares or rapid eye movement sleep disorders.
Restless Leg Syndrome and Narcolepsy
Then there’s restless leg syndrome, which has to do with an uncomfortable urge to move your legs when you’re trying to fall asleep. This, of course, is not conducive to good sleep. Narcolepsy is extreme sleepiness during the day and falling asleep during the day. Narcolepsy can sometimes happen suddenly, which of course is very, very scary.
Hypersomnolence disorder and Sleep Paralysis
Then there is hypersomnolence disorder, which means excessive sleepiness even when you are getting enough hours of sleep and difficulty waking up. Then sleep apnea is something where we experience abnormal breathing patterns during sleep.
This can be very problematic if you have a partner or if you sleep in the bed with someone. Sleep apnea can also be quite loud. Then there’s something called sleep paralysis, which is when your mind is conscious but you can’t move your body or speak.
What’s interesting is this usually occurs during adolescence. It can last a few minutes or a few seconds. Stress, jet lag, sleep deprivation, and panic disorders can trigger this. Sleep paralysis is not usually considered dangerous, only lasts a few seconds, however, is very scary.
Now, sleep apnea, which again is abnormal breathing during sleep, is something that 18 million Americans experience. This can actually get to the point of involuntary cessation of breathing while you’re sleeping.
The American Sleep Apnea Association says that there are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. When this is untreated, people can actually stop breathing repeatedly during sleep.
Sometimes hundreds of minutes during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases, the sleeper is unaware of these breathing stoppages because they don’t really know.
Sleep Aids #1: Losing Weight and Not Binging
Again, this is all individual, but here are some lifestyle shifts that can really help with overall sleep apnea and sleep disorders in general, so we’re talking about in a very general sense.
Number one, losing weight. If you are overweight, if you are especially binging a lot late at night, this does rev you up. Your digestion is going to be an overload, you’re not going to be able to sleep as well or as deeply. Also, being overweight really does affect your breathing patterns. It will definitely adversely contribute to sleep apnea.
Sleep Aids #2: Avoiding Alcohol Before Bedtime and Smoking
Avoiding alcohol is a big one, of course. Some of us like to indulge from time to time. I would say, please be very mindful, be very conscious, choose wisely when you do want to drink. If it’s just a casual one-off here and there, avoid it, because alcohol is very much attributed to frequent nighttime wakenings.
Alcohol really affects your breathing during sleep, really affecting your overall quality of sleep. Same thing with cigarette smoking. Smoking swells the upper airways that can make snoring worse, it affects sleep apnea. It just has a very negative effect on your health overall, of course, and that does include sleep.
Sleep Aids #3: Sleep Position and Journaling
Your position is really important, especially with sleep apnea and other sorts of disorders. You want to avoid lying on your back. It’s said to actually help keep the pathways more open if you lie on your side.
Finally, I will also say that journaling before sleep is said to be really helpful with insomnia, because a lot of times we’ll lay in bed and we’ll think about your to-do list. If you journal before bed, even if it’s five minutes, you get it out of you. In addition, you get it out of your head and onto paper and will start to feel better. Using these steps should really help with your sleep.
If you have a disorder, please look into treating it. Try these suggestions and talk to your doctor. You don’t have to live with sleep disorders. There’s so many aspects of this.
We also have our SleepWell System with lots of suggestions. These include, essential oils, certain plants that can help with your sleep, practices and foods. Please do something about it. Again, you don’t have to suffer. I want you to sleep well. I want you to feel your best.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I love you. I’m here for you. Keep the questions coming over in the podcast link. You can also submit suggestions and topics that you want me to cover more on these VLOGS. Thank you for being in our community. Again, I’m sending you so much love and see you back here very soon.