As you fight to get going every morning, you might think, ‘So what if I don’t get enough sleep? That’s basically the whole experience of adulthood, right?’ Although lack of sleep and its effects are shockingly common in the United States, you still have plenty of reason to attend to it. Poor sleep is tied to so many short-term problems and chronic health issues.
Do you ever wake up in the morning with a fatigue that simply doesn’t make sense? Waking up with achy muscles or tender joints may feel like you slept in the wrong position. It may be that simple, but for a lot of people, it isn’t. Tiredness, sore body parts and an inability to focus during the day are all ways that your body is trying to tell you something.
Snoring is a big inconvenience to anyone who has to listen to it night after night. But did you know that snoring could actually be trying to tell you something? If you or a loved one snores a lot, you might have a condition known as sleep apnea.
You wake up after another night of tossing and turning. ‘It’s all right,’ you tell yourself. ‘Just get a cup or two of coffee, and you’ll be fine.’ For a little while, that may be true. But like a guest who outstays their welcome far longer than expected, poor sleep can start to drag itself through your entire life.
Do you often wake up during the night and have no idea why? Do you struggle through the day, wondering how you’re so tired all the time? Insomnia can be a nightmare, but the root causes could be even more threatening.
Smoking and snoring have one thing in common: They affect you and everyone around you. Although people tend to focus on the way that smoking affects the lungs, there are other issues that you should consider. Smoking has a tight relation to snoring due to the way it changes the nasal and throat passages. It’s a risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) for the same reasons.
You might think that a ‘nightcap’ will help you sleep. If you knew what it could do to your sleep, though, you might reconsider. Alcohol lowers your sleep quality and makes you more likely to snore. It can even cause you to have breathing difficulties at night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea creates a number of potential problems for your life that you can often avoid. Here are a few reasons to think about changing your drinking habits and getting your OSA under control.
Do you find yourself sacking out in front of the television nearly every night? Do you wish you could just stay up a little longer, but end up crashing despite your best attempts? Do you worry about your ability to drive carefully or perform your daily tasks without falling asleep in the middle? You might have what is known as Excessive Daytime Sleepiness.
Is someone in your bed getting in the way of a good night’s sleep? That someone could be you or your partner. Trying to share a bed with a loved one whose sleep is all over the place can be a nightmare. Being that person is even worse.
If you find yourself asking, “Why am I so tired all the time?” you should know that you are not alone. This information might provide you the keys to your snoring and daytime sleepiness, so that you can get rid of them for good.
With the number of convenient health tracking tools available today, it’s no surprise that you can now keep track of and analyze your sleep using digital tools available for your smartphone, computer, and tablet. Many different online screeners and sleep tracking apps now exist to help you keep track of your sleep: you can manually log or automatically sync up data about your bedtime, your wake time, your sleep fragmentation, and even, potentially, signs and symptoms of sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea.
Some researchers refer to this category of tracking and recording health data at home to later share with a doctor as “telemedicine.”
But how good are these consumer digital health tools, really? Is it possible for an average person to gather accurate enough sleep data on your own to make a preliminary diagnosis of a problem as serious as obstructive sleep apnea?