To Sleep to Lose

This is what I look like when I go to bed. Really. Make up and jewelry, really.

Sleep deprivation is not something to be messed with. I am living proof that your health can seriously suffer if you don’t get enough sleep. I can’t be the only sleep apnea patient that feels that they are a walking sleep study that proves the need for sleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing in your sleep. According to my sleep doc, I stop at least sixty times an hour by the time I got treatment for it. I believe I had sleep apnea years before. There are so many ways that not getting good enough sleep affected my life.

Since my teenage years I have been less than graceful. I fall more times than a normal person will in their entire life, in one year. My brother Matthew likes to say that our family always knew it was winter because as soon as it frosted over they would hear, “Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, swoosh, SWAK!” That would be me sliding into our front door. I am also known to my parents as the one who ran into the back of a parked pickup truck, while running across the street. That one hurt a lot because I got clothes lined on the plywood sticking out the back. I broke open my chin, bled all over my shirt and then got a nice big lump on my noggin.

In high school I was known as the girl who fell a lot in band practice. I learned not to wear a skirt because as soon as I had to turn and rush down a couple yard lines it would end up over my head. In college, I was the one who fell in a dress, in the middle of class pictures. At the non-profit I used to volunteer at I became known as the girl who could fly. This was after an incident involving two lovely dogs scurrying out in front of me, their toggle still attached to the ground. I got some serious air that time. I felt as if I understood the beginning stages of the Greatest American Hero.

Luckily it was shortly after my swan song, AKA the day I flew, that I met Dr. Baxter who sent me for the sleep study. It was a miracle. For a couple of years I have been waking up crying because of excruciating headaches. Come to find out, my rock hard neck muscles were because of my gasping for air.

After deploying the CPAP, which is the breathing machine I use at night, I haven’t tripped once unless I deprive myself of sleep on purpose. The headaches have gone away. Also, I believe that this is the only reason that I have been able to lose the weight.

Sunday night, husband and I decided to stay up late to watch the Veronica Mars movies. We had been mainlining episodes for a week and a half. Only people who have done this can understand but we were so excited to see this movie. When we finished the end of the series it was midnight. We decided, okay, let’s go ahead and watch it. It was two-ish when it was done, then we stayed up and giggled until three thirty-ish. It was one of those delightful nights when you laugh about stuff so funny, but you try to explain it to someone else and they look at you stupefied. It was amazing.

The next day…I was dragging butt. Not getting enough sleep left me with only a half a mind all day. Normally I am a multi tasking wiz, but that day I could barely accomplish one thing at a time. I fell down the stairs, and ate everything in sight. Okay so maybe that sounds like an excuse, but I promise you it was so much easier to eat better when I slept well.

I guess I am getting to the point where I am noticing things that hurt my ability to be my best self. I know that sounds corny but if I am more clumsy when I haven’t slept then imagine how impaired I am in other areas. I feel like I am coming out of a cloud. Lack of sleep can cause so many problems, more serious health problems than my clumsiness. I have read about links to heart disease and deteriorating the brain. I hope that I have gotten my CPAP in time. I am going to try to not stay up late like that again if I can help it. This is one more tool I hope to use to lose more weight. I really believe without my machine I couldn’t have lost the weight I have.  This is getting added to the do list. Get good sleep.


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