I have a problem …a sleeping problem and I’m not the only one. It’s a growing concern in this go go go society we live in.
Besides running my brick and motor business working 12 to 14 hour days on average for four years without any long term help I think it also didn’t help during my time as a firefighter..I spent 8 years being woken up in a deep sleep by the sounds of a bong going off on my pager following dispatch lady saying what stations where to respond and what the actual call was.
Also during my time in the military we would get calls in the middle of the night but this time it wasn’t from a pager it was from a loud blow-horn above our beds! I can remember it would literally make you jump up. I was so disorganized in my sleep that I can remember one night as I laid my clothes out on the ground to jump into bed when I got brutally awoken. I tried to rush to get to the trucks that one time my clothes were tied in a knot and my boss wasn’t very happy with me that night to say the least! But talk about adapt and overcome – I started to just wear my bunker gear to bed! Needless to say that never happened to me again.
I’m not complaining with the lack of sleep first responders get, unfortunately it comes with the territory. But lack of it is dangerous. Not to mention that there are numerous studies out there suggesting first responders are prone to all sorts of cancers – because your body is shut off during the night which I can totally believe!
It wasn’t until I read an article on Precision Nutrition’s website that my eyes opened and then it wasn’t until I seen a chart on how dangerous it really can be. All I remember seeing is if you can fall asleep within 5-10 minutes doesn’t matter the time of day then you have extreme sleep apnea.
But wait a minute, I don’t fit the bill I’m in excellent shape and I’m not obese, what exactly is the problem?
After doing some testing it turns out that I just have mild sleep apnea and its due to a combination of things- the way my jaw is shaped, the lack of sleep(I will be the first to admit this I go to bed at 10-11pm because I get off work at 8 and I wake up at 430am to start training at 5am) and also because I’m in great shape apparently while you are lying down because you have a lot of muscle in your neck it closes your airway partially and that’s why you snore.
BIG companies are seeing what lack of sleep are causing and they are on the forefront of this. Companies like The Huffington Post, Google, and Nike just to name a few are allowing employees to have a nap during the day because you are no good to your employer if you are drained and exhausted. Most important if you don’t have proper sleep it can actually KILL YOU.
Here are some tips to help you improve your sleeping.
- Use amber tinted glasses a few hours before bedtime to eliminate blue light exposure from computer monitors or TV screens. (Staring at these screens before bedtime will ensure that your circadian rhythm is disrupted by delaying melatonin production and regeneration mode.)
- Keep your bedroom cool (usually between 65 to 72 degrees)
- Keep bedroom dark (use black out curtains)
Move televisions out of the bedroom.
Try these tips and let me know if they have worked for you.